SWISS CUISINE & FINE DINING
For movie buffs it’s the OSCARS, for Broadway plays it’s the TONYS, and for fine dining & gourmands it’s MICHELIN stars. Swiss are recognized for their meticulous attention to details, hence it is no surprise that Switzerland has the highest density of top-class restaurants per capita in the world. It currently has 117 Michelin star-rated restaurants. The Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville in Crissier is a fine example of one of the three 3-star restaurants in the country. Aside from these exceptional dining locales, Switzerland has a plethora of great restaurants offering superb local & regional specialties.
Many of the better known Swiss dishes have their roots in Switzerland’s agrarian past & the cultural influences of its neighbors. These dishes vary greatly from region to region. As is the case in the USA, many cities & regions are associated with their culinary specialties. The common thread in Swiss cuisine is the extensive use of locally grown and raised market-fresh ingredients. Cheese, of course as well as local wines, play an important role in regional dishes.
Although land-locked, Switzerland with its numerous lakes, rivers & mountain streams is an anglers paradise; hence, fish dishes are popular throughout the country. You’ll find Filet of Perch (Eglifilet) on most menus. Unfortunately, many of the lakes have been over-fished forcing many restaurants to rely on imported freshwater fish. In our “Spotlight” on the Val de Bagnes we talked about their marvelous raclette cheese & of course when it comes to fondue La Gruyère tops the list. Zürich is known for its Züri Gschnätzlets served with Rösti or Spätzli. If you like vol-au-vent (Pastetli), a visit to Lucerne is a must. Their specialty is a Chügelipastete -a beautiful vol-au-vent on steroids.
Dishes are sometime associated with historical events. In our visit to the Canton of Vaud we told you about Malakoffs. In Bern, their famous “Bernese Platter” consisting of a wide variety of all kinds of meats & sausages cooked with juniper-spiced sauerkraut and accompanied by potatoes & seasonal vegetables, celebrates the defeat of the French army in 1798 at the battle of Neuenegg.
Mention Swiss cuisine to those of us with a sweet tooth then patisseries & cakes of all kind come to mind. The Grison’s Bündnernusstorte, the Bernese Haselnusslebkuchen, the Zuger Kirschtorte (a favorite of Katherine Hepburn) and meringues with fresh whipped cream are just a few of the delicacies you’ll find. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention chocolates, fine liqueurs & fine wines.
Checkout the videos & web sites by clicking on the highlighted links above.