Posted by on 08 Sep 2023
Every country has its forte when it comes to food. Greece is known for its hearty street food, while the Cook Islands use only the freshest fish and seafood in their refreshing dishes. But when it comes to the culinary world of Switzerland, it’s their decadent, high-quality cheese and chocolate that is their pride and joy.
Indulgent, melt-in-your-mouth Switzerland cheese and chocolate are a must-try on your next European holiday in the Alps. Today, we’ll talk about why these delicacies are gastronomic treasures in Switzerland, and which ones you need to try next time you visit the European country.
Why are Switzerland Cheese and Chocolate So Famous?
When you picture Switzerland, you probably see images of rolling hills, jaw-dropping snow-capped mountains, and quaint villages. But aside from those, the country is also known for making two of the world’s favourite foods—cheese and chocolate.
The secret to the fabulous cheese and chocolate Switzerland produces lies in its lush, organic alpine pastures. Their livestock graze in unpolluted landscapes and eat nutrient-rich vegetation, resulting in high-quality milk—one of the main ingredients of both cheese and chocolate.
Cheeses from Switzerland have roots in the Medieval Ages when farmers would make cheese from leftover cow’s milk and stock up on them for the winter. To this day, many Swiss cheese farms create cheese the traditional way to ensure they make only the best-quality cheeses.
Meanwhile, rich Swiss chocolate has been around in the country for centuries as well. When cocoa beans were introduced to Europe from the Americas, Swiss chocolatiers experimented and played around with them, creating some of the most luxurious, indulgent chocolates we know today.
When it comes to cheese and chocolate, the creativity, precision and craftsmanship of the Swiss is truly like no other.
Must-Try Cheeses from Switzerland
When you think of Swiss cheese, you probably picture something that looks like Emmental—smooth, pale yellow and with tons of holes. This cheese is most famously made in Emmental Valley in the canton of Bern, one of the top places to visit in Switzerland.
Emmental cheese is rich and creamy, making it a dream to melt. Because of this, it’s a common ingredient in Swiss fondue. Another way to enjoy it is by coating a slice of this cheese with a light drizzle of honey. The sweetness will counteract the richness of the cheese. Robust dark chocolate is excellent for this, too.
Next is Gruyère, an earthy cheese with a slightly sharp and fruity taste. It’s made using unpasteurized milk, creating that robust flavour. It originates from Gruyères, a Swiss district known for its cheese.
Like Emmental, Gruyère is also a fabulous melting cheese. It’s commonly used for dishes like croque monsieur sandwiches and the classic French onion soup. For a combination of salty and sweet, pair it with some milk chocolate mousse!
Appenzeller is a sophisticated cheese that has a distinct tangy and full-bodied flavour. It’s made with a brine of cider, wine and strong spices, creating a unique aromatic cheese flavour. It’s definitely an acquired taste for many.
This cheese pairs quite well with lighter flavours. Munch on it with fruit or jam along with some bread to truly appreciate its zesty taste.
You might know raclette cheese as the melted cheese that is scraped off its wheel and onto potatoes. This semi-firm cheese has a nutty, fruity flavour but is still rich and creamy, making it a crowd-favourite.
The best way to enjoy raclette cheese is the traditional way—melted and scraped over potatoes or charcuterie. It’s an amazing cheese to enjoy with friends.
The Best Chocolates from Switzerland
You can’t talk about chocolates from Switzerland without mentioning Lindt—one of the most popular luxury chocolate brands in the world. Lindt is known for inventing the process of conching, aka altering the texture of chocolate by mixing it in warm temperatures to make it velvety smooth.
Lindt offers plenty of Swiss chocolates, from intense dark chocolate (which goes well with red wine and cheese) to creamy, delectable milk chocolate (perfect with nuts and fruit!).
Cailler was opened way back in 1819 by founder François-Louis Cailler, making it the oldest Swiss chocolate brand around today. Like Lindt, Cailler chocolatiers have perfected the conching process, making every piece of chocolate they make extremely smooth and luscious. You can get Cailler chocolates today in Swiss supermarkets and Cailler boutiques.
They offer plenty of chocolates, each varying in their levels of cacao. Strong, dark chocolates go well with wine, while creamy milk and white chocolates go well with marshmallows, biscuits, fruits and nuts.
Frey is another heritage Swiss chocolate brand that has been around since the 1880s. While it’s widely available in supermarkets, it’s a completely different feeling when you buy them straight from their flagship store in Switzerland.
Frey doesn’t just have dark and milk chocolates. They also have chunky chocolate-filled bars, mouthwatering pralines and chocolate spreads. Their shop can fulfil all kinds of sweet cravings!
Sprüngli is another popular heritage Swiss chocolatier and confectionery known for high-quality, silky and irresistible chocolate.
Since the 1830s, they’ve been providing delicious confections to the Swiss. Today, their selection goes from classic chocolate bars and truffles to ice cream and their signature Luxemburgerli macarons. Enjoy Sprüngli’s sweet chocolates and pastries with a cup of their finest teas while you’re at it!
Indulge in Decadent Switzerland Cheese and Chocolate
Switzerland cheese and chocolate also has a lot of fascinating history behind them, reflecting the rich culture and unique landscapes of stunning Switzerland.
If you’re a foodie on holiday in Switzerland, make sure you try out their delectable cheeses and velvety-smooth chocolates. If you’re a cheese-lover, try Swiss fondue or raclette over potatoes.
And if you’re obsessed with chocolate, hit up the iconic Swiss chocolatiers and factories for the smoothest, richest chocolates you’ll ever try.
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