Swiss cuisine – facts and figures

Switzerland owes its rich culinary heritage to its great many regional specialities. Many traditional dishes have their roots in Switzerland’s farming culture.

An assortment of foods
Swiss products in all their diversity © Patrimoine culinaire suisse, Ursula Sprecher

  • Around 400 different Swiss products, such as “Gruyère” (cheese), “Longeole” (a sausage from Geneva) and “Basler Läckerli” (biscuits) are officially recognised as part of Switzerland’s culinary heritage.
  • The Swiss eat the most chocolate in the world, consuming close to 11kg of chocolate, per person, per year.
  • Switzerland has over 450 different cheeses.
  • The Swiss consume 21.5kg of cheese per person, per year.
  • There are more than 1,680 artisan bakeries in Switzerland.
  • Switzerland has a huge assortment of sausages and dried meat specialities, which vary from region to region: “La Longeole” in Geneva and the “Saucisson Vaudois”, the “St. Galler Bratwurst” (veal frying sausage), “Jura boudin à la crème“ (blood sausage ), “Bündnerfleisch”, and “mortadella di fegato” (liver mortadella) from Ticino, to name but a few.
  • Around 200 grape varieties are grown in Switzerland. 40 of these are indigenous varieties.
  • Valais is the largest wine-making region. Over 50 different grape varieties are grown there.
  • Absinthe, a plant-based spirit, was banned in Switzerland following a popular initiative in 1908. The ban was lifted in 2005.
  • Many homes in Switzerland use the powdered seasoning “Aromat”, which was invented by Knorr in 1952. In 1908 Maggi created its now famous and extremely popular stock cubes.
  • “Cenovis”, a spread made from yeast, carrot and onion extract, was launched in 1931. “Parfait”, another popular Swiss speciality, has been around since 1942.
  • “Ovomaltine”, which was invented in 1865, is a milk-flavouring product made from malted barley, skimmed milk and cocoa.
  • “Rivella” is a carbonated soft drink made from milk serum. It was launched in the 1950s.
  • “Ricola” is a boiled sweet made from a blend of 13 herbs and has been manufactured since 1940.

Additional information