Have you tasted Switzerland’s top 10 vegetarian delicacies?
Chef and traveler Akanksha Dean has a guide to help vegetarians really taste good Swiss cuisine
With beautiful landscapes, huge lakes and an invigorating climate, Switzerland is ideal for a vacation. It is also home to robust traditional dishes. Tasting indigenous food is an essential part of any trip for a traveler, and food provides a valuable connection to help us better appreciate a place and its culture.
If you’ve always wondered how a vegetarian would behave in a European country like Switzerland, this feature is for you. In fact, Switzerland offers exceptional vegetarian options, and the number of vegetarian restaurants or offering very good vegetarian options to locals and visitors is steadily increasing as the world seeks to add more plant-based food choices to the world. their plates. It is enough to spend a few days in Switzerland to soak up and discover this variety of delicious dishes.
It’s one of the all-time Alpine breakfast favorites. Interestingly, it got its name from a Swiss doctor named Bircher who believed in a healthy lifestyle. For this, the oats are soaked overnight in milk or yogurt, along with raisins and fresh fruit, usually bananas, apples and grapes, and a few pieces of almonds. There is no set recipe for a Bircher muesli, but I’ll never be able to forget the one I tried in Engelberg at Kempinski Palace – it had the perfect consistency and wasn’t too thick as some places tend to do it.
Originally a farmer’s breakfast dish, the quintessential Swiss dish of roesti originally from the Swiss capital, Bern. The potatoes are grated and baked in the oven until crisp, then garnished with your choice of ingredients. I would highly recommend it with melted Swiss cheese on top, as well as wilted spinach on the side for fiber. You’ll find it on most menus under 20 CHF, and no one ever goes wrong with the taste.
Translated as “fondu” in French, fondue is the perfect dish to share with family and friends. A fondue invites you to dip pieces of country bread pricked with a fork in a pot of melted cheese. The most common fondue is half Gruyère and half Friborg cheese. For those who don’t already know, just like wine, cheese in Switzerland is named after the region.
Pasta is extremely popular in Switzerland due to its proximity to Italy, and Alpine macaroni are pure comfort food. The chef cooks the applesauce and caramelized onions before cooking the macaroni. Yes, this hearty dish is made with macaroni and cheese, of course (Gruyère, in this case), cream and even potatoes sometimes, then cooked to perfection, before being served topped with caramelized onions and applesauce. Indeed, it’s such a decadent mix of salty and sweet that you might end up eating a second serving.
Raclette offers a very adequate justification for buying a single-use grill just for melting cheese wheels, and serving the processed cheese with pickles, potatoes, onions and a few sauces. The story goes that this dish was born perhaps in the 13th century when a group of Swiss shepherds kept their cheese next to the fire and noticed it melting. As one of them scraped off the gooey cheese that fell on a rock and tasted it, he found it delicious. Today, in many restaurants across Switzerland, you will find individual raclette sets on your table for you to enjoy in the funniest way.
GERTENSUPPE (SWISS BARLEY SOUP)
This hearty soup is perfect in winter and also excellent after a hike. Made with barley and vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and celery, it is commonly found on the menu of mountain huts across Switzerland. If you are visiting Interlaken, head to Harder Kulm and try this soup there; it is sure to be even better after hiking in beautiful terrain.
A popular snack in the street, grilled chestnuts are particularly popular in winter. A well-known roasted chestnut stand is the one just off the bridge in Lucerne, where Roger Federer, Swiss brand ambassador, also tasted chestnuts and gave them a boost. Unsurprisingly, you’ll find locals and tourists alike lining up for a photo op with the store owner.
Throw lettuce, cucumber, tomato and onion in a mixing bowl, add oil and vinegar, season to taste, and you have this healthy Swiss salad. The simple Gemischter Salat, made with the best fresh produce you can get, is a thing of beauty at the Four Seasons in Geneva.
Made from exceptionally good raw materials obtained from many parts of the world, Swiss chocolates are world famous and for good reason. Maison Cailler in Broc is the only Cailler-Nestlé milk chocolate factory in the world and looks like a fantastic wonderland. In Geneva at Favarger, photographs and old books tell over the years the story of a living family of Geneva magnates. The chocolate is exceptional! Did I mention that most tours, with lots of chocolate to taste, are free?
If you are in the Friborg region, a must-try is this kind of amber Swiss brioche bread that has a special flavor. This delicacy is made with flour, yeast, salt, eggs, milk, butter, sugar and a little saffron. It is traditionally cooked for the Bénichon harvest festival, where it is usually spread with butter and the popular Bénichon mustard. Mustard, interestingly, is mixed with spices such as cloves, star anise and cinnamon with candied sugar and cooked wine (an artisanal dessert wine). That said, cuchaule can be eaten with anything salty or sweet. I like mine with jam and cheese.
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