When you think of Switzerland, what do you think of? Chocolate? Cheese? Cuckoo clocks? Like many countries, Switzerland has its share of ‘icons’ that bring the country immediately to mind for tourists and local citizens alike.
During our recent holiday in Switzerland, I thought it would be fun to play with some of the typical Swiss icons through an Instagram lens, to take you on a Instagram Travel Thursday journey.
Seeing Zermatt and the Matterhorn for the first time felt as awesome as I think this picture is, at least to me. This mountain has been an iconic symbol of Switzerland for over a century. The village of Zermatt is quaint, but filled with international tourists at the same time. It’s not the easiest place to access (it’s a pedestrian-only village), but that is part of its charm. Turn the corner, and you’re treated to even more beautiful and stunning mountain peaks, including the tallest mountain in the country, the Dufourspitze (also known as Monte Rosa), at 4,634 m.
The ever-present Swiss cow is both a symbol and a reality of Alpine Switzerland. The Swiss economy benefits from their milk in both chocolate and cheese production, and the mountain farmers and their lifestyle are a vestige of an older time. The cows summer in the high alpine, after ascending there via colorful and musical processions through villages and steep mountain trails.
Promoted by the Swiss Cheese Union in the early 20th century as the Swiss national dish, the recipe for a good cheese fondue is simple: half (or two-thirds) Swiss Gruyere, and half (or one-third) softer Vacherin cheeses. Melt them together into a creamy bliss that supports dipped bread cubes without getting goopy or stuck. Eat while enjoying alcohol or warm tea, but no cold drinks please! – else that cheese become a lump in your stomach during the night. Do finish with a shot of Swiss kirsch.
Despite not having cacao or sugar plantations, the Swiss have been producing high quality chocolate since the 18th century. While they are among the highest consumers of chocolate in the world, it’s lovely that they still export quite a bit for the rest of us to enjoy. Swiss chocolate brands like Tobler, Lindt, Frey and Teuscher are known around the world, and the country is fiercely proud of its delicious chocolate heritage. I enjoy swiss chocolate best on a mountain hike, as the filling in a freshly baked mutschli (bun).
Photo Credit: C. Laroye
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