With the saying, "food and drink keep the body and soul together" displayed in many Swiss kitchens, food is an important part of Swiss culture. Although Switzerland's cheese and chocolate are world-renowned, Swiss cuisine is often overshadowed by its European neighbours.
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For years, Swiss culture remained unto itself and was mostly an agrarian society. Dairy farming has always been important and is the basis for Swiss chocolate, cheese and fondue -- a Swiss dish known worldwide. Being in close proximity to France, Italy and Germany, many chefs came to Switzerland with their techniques, used locally grown and raised ingredients and developed the basis for Switzerland's regionally oriented cuisine.
According to the Visit-Lake-Geneva-Switzerland.com website, Swiss food culture depends on the region. Pasta is a staple in areas near the Italian border, while those near the German or French borders eat more roasted potatoes. Cheese is popular throughout Switzerland and it is famous for its Gruyere and Emmental cheese. Swiss cooking is often split into two types: haute cuisine and traditional, with traditional being everyday meals consisting of locally grown and raised products.
Switzerland is not without its own food contributions. Swiss chocolate is among the world's best, and is something of a national obsession. In the late 19th century, muesli -- a breakfast cereal of toasted oats, dried apples and nuts -- was created by Dr. Bircher-Benner in Zurich for his patients. Swiss eating habits follow European standards and normally consist of breakfast, a large noon meal and a smaller meal in the evening. The evening meal usually consists of omelettes in the French regions, antipasti in areas near Italy and dried meats in regions close to the German border.
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