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Top 10 Must-try Foods and Drinks to Try in Switzerland (Updated)

Oct 06, 2020
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When we are on vacation in Switzerland, we do not only look for things to do in Switzerland but also indulge ourselves with scrumptious foods and drinks to try in Switzerland.

Knowing that diversity is the essence of Switzerland. From language to food and drink, you can see the influence of the neighbouring countries France, Germany and Italy. However, Switzerland has added the flavours of its best local produce and created quintessentially Swiss dishes that are just not to be missed.

One cannot help be amazed at the number of tempting dishes that include basic ingredients like bread, potatoes and cheese and take them to another level.

If you have only been thinking Swiss cheese and chocolate, think again and get your taste buds ready for your next Swiss holiday. Traverse the country using the Swiss Travel Pass and taste the regional specialities as you go along.

Switzerland may have an amazing number of Michelin starred restaurants (128 in 2019), but good and affordable Swiss food can be found everywhere.

Here are our Top 10 not-to-be-missed food and drink to try in Switzerland. Drink up and gobble down!

1. Swiss Cheese Fondue

Right at the top of the list is the world-famous cheese fondue - A blend of Gruyere, Emmental, and Appenzeller cheese melted with wine and then seasoned with garlic and nutmeg.

Fondue is traditionally served with crusty bread which you dip into this heaven of cheese! You have not tasted fondue if you have not had it in Switzerland!

2. Raclette

Can you name one thing that tastes better than cheese? Melted cheese!

Raclette is a type of semi-hard cheese made from Alpine cow's milk, also called ‘A Melting Wheel of Swiss Cheese'. The Raclette cheese (round) is heated by a special machine called raclette melter, and it is directly scraped onto your plate to eat along with cold meat, boiled potato, cornichon pickles, and pickled onion. Add your favourite Swiss wine to it to take it one notch higher!

3. Rösti

A famous Swiss dish made from potatoes, mainly served as an accompaniment to other dishes - Rösti; nicely roasted in butter and spices is usually served with meat, cheese, sausages, bacon or veggies. This dish and its many variations are served in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions and is easily found on almost every menu. You really don't have to go find Rosti, it is sure to find you!

4. Basel Flour Soup - Basler Mehlsuppe

It is said that a chatty cook once burnt the flour while preparing soup and instead of starting from scratch again, decided to use the same burnt flour. He continued to roast it in butter and added the beef stock to it and made the soup and it became quite a success.

Today, Mehlsuppe, a hearty, strong flavoured soup is a prevalent dish with the locals and tourists alike. This simple flour soup is mostly served during the Basel Carnival (Fasnacht) but is also consumed all over the country. It prominently features browned flour and onions, sometimes, red wine, and is seasoned with peppercorns and other spices.

5. Alplermagronen

Did the Italians really introduce Switzerland to pasta? Most say that's not true.

Pasta has been made in Switzerland for a long time. In the earlier days, pasta was expensive and considered a luxury item by Swiss people.

To preserve this expensive item and make it last longer, they thought of adding potatoes, fried onions, garlic, and cheese to it. The dish eventually got the name Alplermagronen, which means Alpine farmer's macaroni.

This comforting layered pasta dish has a very creamy texture, baked until golden, and served with apple sauce. It is topped with caramelised onions and shredded Gruyere which takes Mac and cheese to another dimension! Not just picture perfect, Its pasta perfect!

6. Swiss Wine and Beer

Even though there are vineyards all over Switzerland, the most famous wine-growing regions are Valais and Vaud.

The 800 hectares of the terraced vineyards of the UNESCO region Lavaux form Switzerland's largest vineyard area. The area grows grape varieties like Chasselas, Amigne and the Swiss hybrid variety Gamaret.

One can take tours that allow you to meet with some of the families who cultivate here, and of course, you can sample and buy the product as well. Among the more famous names are St. Saphorin, Dezalay and Epesses.

Remember, it is challenging to find Swiss wine outside of Switzerland since almost all of it is locally consumed. Make sure you drink to your heart's content and also buy some bottles to keep the memories alive once back home.

We recommend trying a glass of wine at the mighty Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe, gazing at the snow-covered mountains in your sight.

Beer: Switzerland has 650 registered breweries but does not particularly have a signature national beer like many other European countries.

Like all other food and drink in Switzerland, each region has its own speciality which must be tried. Among the popular ones are the Namur Express, Blanche Weiner, Ueli Laggs Special, LaVerte So grab your glass and as they say in Switzerland…Santé!

7. Hot Chocolate

Why just eat chocolate when you can drink it too! Hot chocolate is the go-to drink in Switzerland in winter.

It is made from Chocolate powder or from pure chocolate.

Keep looking for Heisse Schoggi/Heisse Schokolade in the menu card. Make sure a steaming cup of hot chocolate is on your list while you are on your Switzerland trip. With Swiss chocolate in it, it might be the best hot chocolat

8. Glühwein - Spiced red wine

This is a Christmas special drink but also consumed all winter in Switzerland, GLÜHWEIN - mulled/spiced wine.

Majorly available in all the Christmas markets, this drink warms your body from tip to toe. It is not the typically sweet kind of wine but a richly spiced wine - one of its kind! An excellent way to kick off the festivities.

9. Swiss Desserts and Gelato

One would imagine that chocolate would be the mainstay of Swiss desserts, but that's not true. Other local ingredients like chestnuts, hazelnuts, apples, cherry liqueur, and of course, chocolate, make for the most lip-smacking Swiss desserts.

Try the Berliner (doughnut) Zuger Kirschtorte (Swiss layered cake), Raspberry cake, Swiss yoghurt, Bündner Nusstorte (nut tart), Pain au chocolate and as many others that you can sink your teeth into!

It is no surprise that closer to Italy in the Ticino area, Gelato too falls under the must-have desserts. Gelato that is made from fruits, nuts, chocolate, coffee and stracciatella (chocolate shavings) is famous all over—a must-inclusion in your Switzerland itinerary.

10. Swiss Chocolate

It is no surprise that Switzerland has the highest per capita rate of chocolate consumption in the world. The average Swiss person consumes around 10 kilograms of chocolate a year!

Swiss chocolate brands like Lindt, Caillers, Toblerone, and Milka have become famous worldwide for their creamy textures and excellent varieties.

The country also has a train dedicated to chocolate! Hop on to the Chocolate train and get an up-close view of the process of manufacturing chocolate with a visit to the Nestle-Cailler factory. There are also many other chocolate factories that you can visit in Switzerland.

Remember, you get a sizeable discount with Swiss Travel Pass on your Chocolate Train tour in Switzerland.

Eat enough and make sure to take some home for family and friends, in case you are not coming back to Switzerland anytime soon, which is highly unlikely if you once step a foot in Switzerland.

Hope you will sample all the top 10 foods and drinks to try in Switzerland.

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