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Regional specialities

When it comes to bread quality and the choice of varieties and flavours, Switzerland is a world leader.

Canton-specific breads

In Switzerland, almost every canton has its favourite type of bread. The best-known include Tessinerbrot (Ticinese bread), Walliser Roggenschrotbrot (coarse-grained rye bread from Valais) and Baslerbrot (Basel bread). The different types are, of course, well known and available well beyond the borders of their home cantons. They differ in terms of appearance as well as ingredients. Jura bread, for example, is marked with the stamp of the canton.

Regional cakes and biscuits

In addition to bread, Switzerland boasts a wealth of regional cakes and biscuits. Treats like Aargauer Rüeblitorte (Aargau carrot cake), Basler Leckerli (Basel gingerbread biscuits) and Bündner Nusstorte (Graubünden nut cake) are well known and popular throughout the country.

Classic Swiss treats…

The Weggli is a highly popular bread roll in Switzerland. It is round and has a deep score across the centre. The Weggli is made with white flour, milk, butter, malt extract, sugar and salt. One roll weighs approximately 60 grams. Weggli are popular for breakfast, as a snack or a filled roll. They are also often eaten with a piece of chocolate. Their origins date back to the sixteenth century and, up until the early twentieth century, they were a luxury which only the richest people could afford.
The Gipfeli is actually a French pastry – a croissant – but has become a fixture in Switzerland too. It is particularly popular with coffee or on its own for breakfast. Popular variations include pretzel Gipfeli, chocolate-filled Gipfeli and ham-filled Gipfeli. Gipfeli dough, which is made with butter, is folded into multiple layers before being cut into triangles and then rolled into the famous croissant shape.
Ruchbrot (brown bread) is a classic dark Swiss bread, with its name meaning 'raw' or 'rough'. It is made mainly from flour with a medium extraction rate, but can also contain other types of flour. Ruchbrot is the cheapest type of bread in Switzerland and is normally shaped into a long loaf and scored several times. However, it can have different shapes, depending on the region.
The 1. August-Weggen (1 August bread roll) is eaten throughout Switzerland on the Swiss National Day. It is a yeast roll which has a cross cut into the top before baking. The Swiss Association of Bakers and Confectioners created the 1. August-Weggen in 1959. Ever since, the well-known golden-brown rolls have been sold with little Swiss flags on the top as decoration.
Whether Dreikönigskuchen (literally 'three kings' cake') is a cake or bread is a matter of contention… The treat, which is traditionally eaten on 6 January, is made from a sweet yeast dough. The dough is shaped into balls, arranged like the petals of a flower and sprinkled with flaked almond and sugar crystals. Different variations of Dreikönigskuchen can be found in France, the UK, Spain, Mexico and New Orleans, as well as in Switzerland. Despite regional recipe differences, the buns all have a bean, an almond, a coin or other type of small object - in Switzerland usually a little plastic model of a king – baked into them.
The Bürli is a truly classic bread roll, particularly in German-speaking Switzerland. It has a special significance in the canton of St. Gallen, where it is eaten with the famous Olma-Bratwurst or Olmaschüblig sausage. Bürli are usually sold as double rolls. They should be crispy on the outside and light yet moist on the inside. The dough is made with water, flour, yeast and salt – nothing else is needed to create a tasty Bürli.
The Grittibänz or Grättimaa is a popular treat made with yeast dough, which is eaten in Switzerland in December, particularly on St. Nicholas' Day. It has different names in different regions of Switzerland and even more different names in Germany, where it is known as a Weckenmann or Stutenkerl. Raisins are usually used to create a face and buttons on the bread.