Updated: Apr 6
Three kisses to say hello, a ridiculous sense of punctuality and a manic love for cleanliness, that’s just some of the swiss oddities.
Of course when you think of Switzerland, banks, watches, chocolate and cheese are what immediately come to mind. And of course all of the above are true. But cheese could very well be the glue that sticks the different parts of the country together. Yes, Switzerland is very small, but it is still divided into 26 cantons.
We speak four different languages, we have different TV and radio channels and sometimes we are even unable to understand each other. But wherever you will go, from the green fields of Fribourg to the rocky waterfalls of Ticino, you will always find cheese. And wine. And more cheese. It’s part of our identity, as precious as the gold in the banks.
Its smell is a giveaway. When you enter a swiss restaurant, whether you are in New York, Hong Kong or London, you will immediately be welcomed by the strong – and pretty awful – aroma of melted cheese, the smell of SWISS FONDUE. And despite the smell, people sit around a pot of mouthwatering melted cheese and dip a pointed fork with a piece of bread in the creamy mix. Specialists will know to spin the fork around to avoid strings (and burning your mouth), and beware of whoever drops his bread in the pot…
You can find fondue restaurants in almost every part of the world, even in the most exotic and unexpected places, anywhere… except in Norway. Can anyone tell us why ? For an unknown reason, there are no fondue restaurants in Oslo, or in Bergen, or even in Lillehammer, where the Swiss team won several medals at the 1994’s Olympic Games.
So here we are, introducing to you the wonderful connecting power of swiss cheese (almost) all the way up to the Polar Circle.
Sometimes, for example in the USA where people are used to eat melted cheese (that comes in a tube!) on French fries, it’s not unusual for people to mix up Switzerland and Sweden. This can easily be explained by many similarities between both countries other than the spelling that is pretty close: Switzerland has a lot of common features with the Nordic countries. Let’s mention the snow, the winter imagery, the wooden huts (called chalet). Then let’s talk about the personalities of their inhabitants, a bit rustic to start off with but warm when you come to know them.
We have no big cities but instead a lot of nature, the Alp mountains are famous all over the world, (think of the Matterhorn on the Toblerone chocolate packages), lakes that we can navigate on, hiking trails, meadows that look like postcards when you cross them by train.
Trains are another swiss particularity. A high-quality network of railway lines that take you wherever you want, even to the top of the mountains and run (nearly) always on time.
If you have the chance to come to our beautiful country, you will see all this for yourself. If you make swiss friends, they will definitely take you to a restaurant where you will share a fondue.
And make sure you aren’t late or you will miss the « apero », a drink you are allowed to enjoy while waiting for your food, probably a glass of fresh and fruity white wine to prepare your pallet and that, unlike sodas or cold water, will not interfere when the warm cheese hits your stomach!
Yes, Switzerland is a place where you don’t mess with tradition and quality, good food and conviviality. And that’s what we are bringing it to you.