Swiss cuisine bears witness to many regional influences, including from French, German and Italian cuisines and also features many dishes specific to Switzerland. Switzerland was historically a country of farmers, so traditional Swiss dishes tend to be plain and made from simple ingredients, such as potatoes and cheese.There are many regional dishes in Switzerland. One example is Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, thin strips of veal with mushrooms in a cream sauce served with rösti. Italian cuisine is popular in contemporary Switzerland, particularly pasta and pizza. Foods often associated with Switzerland include cheese and chocolate. Swiss cheeses, in particular Emmental cheese, Gruyère, Vacherin, and Appenzeller, are famous Swiss products. The most popular cheese dishes are fondue and raclette. Both these dishes were originally regional dishes, but were popularized by the Swiss Cheese Union to boost sales of cheese.
Rösti is a popular potato dish that is eaten all over Switzerland. It was originally a breakfast food, but this has been replaced by the muesli, which is commonly eaten for breakfast and in Switzerland goes by the name of "Birchermüesli" ("Birchermiesli" in some regions). For breakfast and dinner many Swiss enjoy sliced bread with butter and jam. There is a wide variety of bread rolls available in Switzerland. Bread and cheese is a popular dish for dinner.
Tarts and quiches are also traditional Swiss dishes. Tarts in particular are made with all sorts of toppings, from sweet apple to onion.
In the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, the Ticino area, one will find a type of restaurant unique to the region. The Grotto is a rustic eatery, offering traditional food ranging from pasta to homemade meat specialties. Popular dishes are Luganighe and Luganighetta, a type of artisan sausages. Authentic grottoes are old wine caves re-functioned into restaurants. Due to their nature they are mostly found in or around forests and built against a rocky background. Typically, the facade is built from granite blocks and the outside tables and benches are made of the same stone as well. Grottoes are popular with locals and tourists alike, especially during the hot summer months.Cervelat or cervelas is considered the national sausage, and is popular all over Switzerland.
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