Many of Switzerland’s national dishes are well-known around the world.
Cheese fondue is made from Gruyère and Vacherin cheese (or Appenzeller). A splash of white wine is usually added to help the melting process. The bubbling cheese is served in a “caquelon” (heavy-bottomed pot), into which diners dip small cubes of bread skewered on a long-handled fork.
Raclette is a typical dish from Valais. A half cheese round is heated and the melting cheese is scraped on to the plate. Traditionally, it is eaten with boiled potatoes, gherkins and pickled onions, and accompanied by a glass of white wine, usually Fendant.
Rösti is a type of potato cake. The potatoes are first cooked in their jackets, then peeled and grated before being fried in butter to form a cake. Each region has their own version. In Bern, rösti comes with cheese, onions and bacon. In Zurich, the birthplace of rösti, the dish is prepared with grated raw potato.
Bircher muesli is a breakfast dish or snack made from cereal (oat) flakes, finely chopped fruit and milk. There are countless variations with additional ingredients like honey, yogurt and nuts. Bircher muesli was invented by Swiss doctor Max Bircher-Benner in the early 20th century. It was originally served in sanatoria, but it did not take long before it found its way on to breakfast tables across Switzerland.