“Oh it’s like soy sauce.” We asked Americans to try Swiss food… here’s what they had to say

On August 1, we celebrate Switzerland’s National Day and what better way to mark the occasion than with some traditional, and delicious, Swiss food. Obviously we may be biased, but that’s why we wanted to put some of our favorite typical Swiss dishes to the test. Who better to ask than our American friends and what better place to go than Washington, D.C.’s only Swiss restaurant, Stable.

Here’s what we put to the test, along with recipes in case you want to try anything at home! We’ve hyperlinked the names of the dishes to a recipe.

Rivella: We don’t have a recipe for this Swiss drink but you can find it at the Swiss Bakery in Virginia or at Stable DC. (Scroll down for other Swiss restaurants throughout the country where you may be able to find Rivella.)

Brot und Maggi: Also no recipe for this, but Stable DC might be able to help you out.

What’s in it? Bread and Maggi. That’s all you need for this snack. Maggi is simply a food flavour enhancer in liquid form.

Wurst-Käse-Salat

What’s in it? The name says it all. Sausage, cheese, salad. There are slight variations to the dish, but the main ingredients: Cervelat, Emmentaler or Gruyere and a few other items to pull this dish together.

Ghackets und Hörnli

What’s in it? The main ingredients are macaroni pasta, chopped meat and then apple sauce and cheese. There is no right or wrong way to eat this Swiss dish. Some people mix the apple sauce in, while others keep it on the side.

Fondue

What’s in it? Do we even need to explain this one? The most popular and go-to fondue is Fondue moitié-moitié, which contains half Gruyère, half Vacherin fribourgeois. One non-negotiable: a dry white wine should be a part of this meal and perhaps a shot of kirsch (cherry brandy) because how else will you digest all of the cheese?

Vermicelles

What’s in it? Vermicelles are made from a sweetened chestnut paste which includes chestnuts, sugar, milk and kirsch. Vermicelles are prepared in a variety of ways including pastry tarts or on meringue with cream. No matter how you decide to have this dessert, you are in for a treat.

Now what made this game particularly fun is we didn’t give our American friends any background or information on the dishes they were trying and had them guess what they were eating instead. (Not always the easiest task when it comes to things like Vermicelles or Rivella.) P.S. We also had them try and pronounce the names of each dish before tasting...

They may not have given every dish a 10 out of 10 — but overall they seemed to have a positive experience and we did hear the phrase “surprisingly good” a few times. But honestly, we couldn’t even come to a consenus amongst the Swiss people at the Embassy on how simple dishes like Ghackets und Hörnli should be served. (For the record, the author of this article prefers it with apple sauce.) In the end, surprise, surprise, fondue stole the show, because let’s be real… who doesn’t like melted cheese?

While we’re on the topic of Swiss food: we don’t know about you but being away from our beautiful home can be challenging at times. On the other hand, it’s always an amazing surprise when we stumble across Swiss gems in the USA and get a taste of home in the most unexpected places.

Many of you have shared your tips and recommendations for places where you can find that taste of Switzerland, so we decided to compile a few of your finds with some of ours and create a Google Map of Swiss Gems. We know we may have missed a few spots, so we’d love to hear from you on social media if you have additional places you think should be on the list. Now you can adventure to a new part of the of the U.S. while discovering a piece of Switzerland.

If you are looking for other fun ways to celebrate this special occasion, be sure to visit https://www.missione1agosto.org/ where you’ll find quizzes, recipes, and much more about Switzerland.

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Switzerland in the USA

Switzerland in the USA

Official Medium account of the Embassy of Switzerland, Consulates General and Swissnex in the United States of America. Follow our stories.