I’m always interested in learning about how other countries do things, and as Christmas is such a special time of the year it makes it even more fun to learn about how it’s done elsewhere. Expedia recently challenged me to pick a country and make a traditional Christmas Meal, and seeing as we’re flying into Switzerland in January I thought it would be nice to see what they get up to!
So after perusing a few different websites I came to the conclusion their traditional Christmas meal is either Turkey or pork/ham served with vegetables and sliced potatoes with cheese. Another meal that is becoming more popular for Christmas is a cheese fondue (or , and often invitations are sent out with the words ‘FIGUGEGL’ (fee-goo-geck-ul) meaning ‘Fondu isch guet und git e gueti Lune’ and that translates as ‘fondue is good and gives a good mood’. Most people go by the rule that if you drop whatever you’re dunking in then you have to kiss the person to your left! As Sam and I would find it hard to polish off fondue and a full roast we’ll leave the cheese for another time I think, but made and consumed a full roast, then moved on to the sweet courses…
Cookies & Cake
My research told me that cookies are really popular and that most families have their own recipe that’s been handed down through the generations, Anise cookies & Milano cookies are popular, but I didn’t think the children would like the aniseed flavour so stuck with Milano cookies but added some ginger spice (based on this recipe) because I only had ginger bread men cookie cutters to hand! I also made my personal favourite chocolate cookies, although I should have used toblerone really, being swiss! I’ll be sure to stock up when we fly into Geneva in January!
Walnut cake is another popular dessert around Christmas time, and one I think I’ve only made once before. I used a simplified version of good old Mary Berry’s, without the boiled icing and the caramelised walnuts on top, again, not too healthy for the baby! I made three layers and sandwiched them with butter-cream icing, and we enjoyed it after every meal for three days! Definitely a tradition I could get on board with as most walnut cake has coffee included but I’m not a coffee lover!
To go with our traditional roast I thought we should go the whole hog (geddit?) and serve Glühwein, and for dessert traditional walnut cake and home made biscuits; both ginger and chocolate. In Switzerland the main meal is eaten on Christmas eve, which is when it is traditional to dress the tree before opening presents!
- 1 bottles of red wine
- 250 ml Water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 60g sugar
- 6 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 oranges – cut into bite-size pieces
Method: Fling it all into a pan, stir and simmer on a low heat! Or in my case pop it all into the slow cooker on high for a couple of hours and it makes your kitchen smell delicious!
To be perfectly honest I think Switzerland does Christmas perfectly! If any of these recipes have made you wonder about visiting Switzerland then take a look at the package holiday deals on Expedia and see what takes your fancy!
This is a collaborative post, all words and opinions are my own!