Once again we need to eliminate a cuisine in The World Cup of Food and get one step closer to crowning a champion. This week’s match between Switzerland and Hungary featured Swiss cheesy goodness and Hungary’s spice of choice, paprika.
In the last century Swiss food, a varied amalgam of French, German, Austrian, Italian, and many other international influences, has come to be best known for a single communally shared dish: fondue (recipe follows).
For the first time in the qualifying stages of The World Cup of Food, there is a clear (at least in our minds) winner between Switzerland and Russia.
Kartoffel rösti (recipe follows), a Swiss fried potato cake that is a cross between hash browns and potatoes Anna, is so popular in the German-speaking areas of Switzerland that it is often seen as an identifying symbol of Germanic Switzerland, sort of like how grits are used to symbolize the southern United States. Rösti can be jazzed up with bacon, onions, cheese, apples, or herbs, but the basic version is just potatoes, fat, salt, and pepper.
Switzerland has four official languages — French, German, Italian, and Romansh — and countless other languages that are spoken within its borders. It is no surprise then that, despite the country’s small size and population, a staggering variety of food can be found as well. Fondue, a bubbly mix of cheese and wine of Swiss origin, is popular worldwide (thanks in no small part to Big Fondue’s push to promote fondue pots as wedding gifts in the 1970s), as is the original Swiss cheese, Emmentaler. Switzerland is also the place of origin of meringue, absinthe, and Ovaltine, so the Swiss have made a sizable imprint on the world’s dessert, drink, and instant breakfast landscapes as well.