life on pine

7 things to try when you're in switzerland

Kate ParrishComment

we were looking forward to meeting up with my family for the holidays in switzerland since day one of our trip. my step-dad is swiss and we have many friends and family living in the geneva area. more photos and stories from our trip later. but in the mean time, are you heading to switzerland any time soon? if so, these 7 things are a must try. also see our << swiss photo journal here >>. 

even my vegan mother makes an exception for swiss fondue because it really is that good. if you have time [and you're close] it's worth making a day trip to visit the town of gruyere. but fondue is everywhere in switzerland. some tips? avoid looking like a tourist and order white wine with the dish. don't drink any water or soda, as the acid from the wine helps break up the cheese. if you don't drink wine, anything warm will do [tea is best!] ... try ordering the tomato version if you're looking for a twist

this is technically a french dish from the savoy region in the french alps, but it has slowly crept over the swiss border and is most popular in the french speaking part of the country. it is made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions. can't beat this on a cold day.

it doesn't look like much more than cheese slapped on a plate, but it IS so much more than that. this dish has a long history and has even been mentioned in medieval writings [or so they say]. raclette traditionally starts as a wheel of cheese, that is heated either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners' plates. the term raclette derives from the french word racler, meaning "to scrape", a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part onto the plate. the dish is often accompanied by small potatoes, gherikins, pickled onions, white wine and sometimes dried meats. 

is a swiss potato dish that consists mainly of potatoes. originally a breakfast dish, this is now eaten all over the country at any time of day. it can often be seen with spinach, grilled onions, fried eggs or cervelas... i prefer it with a sausage! 

... is some of the best wine i've ever had. it's rare to find it in the states because the swiss prefer to keep it all for themselves as they drink almost all that they produce. go for a tasting at one of the many local wineries and you wont be disappointed [beware, they have a heavy pour]. we loved our tasting at château de duillier (nyon) and château de villa (valais). 

this restaurant in geneva originated in paris with the tradition of ONLY serving steak frites and salad. nothing else. like, really ... nothing else. and it's the best. medium rare is recommended, and the steak cooks a bit more on the flame in front of you. red wine is a must. 

you'll see this for dessert without a doubt if you visit gruyere. it's hands down my favorite dessert in the entire world and you MUST try it. the crunchy sugary meringues mixed with the tart creamy cream ... it's actually insane and we have nothing like it in the states.