3 Swiss Comfort Foods You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

January 20, 2022

Photograph by Helvetic Kitchen

Temperatures dropping outside means we're turning up our stovetops and ovens and searching for warm and comforting recipes this winter.

And the one thing we love about living in Switzerland is that recipes can differ from one region to another  – but one thing is certain: the Swiss sure know how to make some of the most indulgent comfort foods. Here are 3 that we never knew about, until we moved here.

Cholera

A picture of a swiss traditional dish called Cholera

We had a double-take when we saw ‘Cholera’ listed on a menu at one of our favorite mountain restaurants in Barmaz. Turns out the plague and this dish aren’t unrelated. Rumor has it that in the 1800s, residents of the Valais had to stay home because of a bad outbreak of Cholera (my, how familiar this sounds) and were forced to make meals with what they could find on hand. Others say it’s based on the etymology of the pan that is used to bake the dish. Regardless of its history, we’re sure glad it exists because it’s a flaky, fulfilling meal perfect for winter. It’s essentially puff pastry filled with leeks, potatoes, bacon, cheese, and apples or pears. And the beauty is you can substitute with ingredients you have on hand, much like during the plague (and to keep things on-theme). Want to know how to make one? Check out this recipe from the talented chef and baker, Andie, on her site Helvetic Kitchen

Hacktätschli

A photo of Hacktatschli, a swiss traditional food

Because what’s a comfort food roundup without meatballs? These ground beef, pork, and veal meatballs are accompanied by a flavor-packed creamy sauce made with mushrooms, white wine,  and shallots. We love that this recipe changes depending on the region or even village in some cases. This particular recipe from Fooby uses both potatoes and cauliflower to create a more textured base. 

Capuns

a picture of the swiss traditional dish of capuns

Our first encounter with Capuns was in frigid sub-zero temperatures in Grisons. We layered up and crossed a frozen field to a little restaurant that boasted notable ratings on Gaut & Milau, and there on the menu was Capuns. Little cheese and meat dumplings that use a variation of chard as their wrapper, made in a milk or cream sauce. There are too many versions of this recipe to count, but our favorites have to be both Helvetic Kitchen (and her writing is always delightful) and this Fooby version. Swiss tourism also discusses Capuns at length, with this recipe to share.

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