Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Switzerland's neighbours are the influence for the table here - France, Germany and Italy press the flesh and have infiltrated Swiss kitchens for centuries. Historically, Switzerland was a farming country - and still is in many parts and the most popular crops were potatoes and dairy products from happy cows. Chocolate has been top of the food chain too.
Much of what is popular and served up in homes and indeed restaurants are regional dishes. In modern Switzerland Italian food is common including the staples of pasta and pizza. Swiss cheese dishes include Emmental cheese, Vacherin and Appenzeller. And the berautiful cheeses from the various regions in the mountain areas have their special flavours from the mountain herbs growing in the lush pastures that the cows love.
A typical Swiss breakfast (and my favourite meal in European countries) might display good, artisan breads, butter, honey, cheese, cereal, milk, hot or cold cocolate, coffee and tea. (Except in some of the hotels in the Italian region - especially Lugano where I stayed in Hotel Lugano Dante - and had the most splendid brekkie - check out the picture for cake. Any country that serves cake for breakfast gets my vote as a winner.
Lunch in Switzerland is usually a meal of pasta,potoates, meat, fish, seafood and veggies - see my lovely tuna salad, served in a mountain top cafe above Lugano.
Dinner can range from a full meal to a snack.
Fondue is still on the radar, as is Aloplermagronen - a nostalgic dish of macaroni, carameleised onions, potoes, melted chese and served with a dish of apple sauce. Basically macaroni chees but with the added potatoes - pretty heavy.
Another favourite edging towards the German tradion is Zurcher Geschnetzeltes - sliced veal in cream sauce and mushrooms, served with rosti.
I'm not saying I returned from Switzerland four kilos heavier than when I left - but I'm not denying it either.
I did manage to have a green salad every day! And a Swiss chocolate too.
Hotel Lugano Dante
Zunfthaus zur Waag (for veal dish)