12:00 AM, August 01, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:21 AM, August 30, 2018

Want to know Switzerland? Start by its cuisine

One of the best ways to learn about a culture is by discovering the nation's food habit. When it comes to describing Swiss cuisine, “variety is the spice of life” would be the most relevant narrative to use. Just as diverse as the culture and languages are in Switzerland, the nation's assorted food palate also extracts and combines cuisines from its bordering German, French and North Italian regions. Like the language divisions, the Swiss cuisine is also heavily influenced by its natural landscape with regional connotations to it. Not only that, while Switzerland derives from its neighbouring cuisines, it customizes the recipe with local ingredients cooked in own local style, giving the cuisines a very Swiss touch to it. That is how the Swiss food culture has developed its own mystique and flavours!

It is not possible to pinpoint to a single Swiss cuisine because of its varied nature, and the culinary diversity can be observed as one travels through the country. A typical dish that is popular across the nation would be Rösti — Swiss-style buttery home fried grated potatoes or Swiss hash-browns. It is usually topped with cheese, roasted onions or even fried eggs depending on the region. Sometimes Rösti is also served with main dishes, such as the famous Zürcher Geschnetzeltes - this Zurich-style creamy shredded veal meat. In some cantons, it is also served with noodles or rice. When speaking of the nation's cuisine, one cannot ignore to mention the prevalent presence of cheese in its various dishes, especially the popularly known Fondue. Mainly originating from the French-speaking part of the country, the Swiss palate consist of long tradition of cheese production with over 450 different types of cheeses ranging from hard to soft cheese, cottage cheese, valley factory cheese all with their own distinct taste and flavour. Gruyère is the best known with others including Sbrinz, Appenzeller, Raclette and Tête de Moine.

Also it is no secret that the nation's large talent lies in chocolate production – the fame of which has crossed international borders and is renowned across the world. Starting from the invention of milk chocolate in early 19th century, the nation's cuisine is highly enriched by variety of chocolatey treats; from chocolate bars to pralines and spread.

The Zurich-styled Zürcher Geschnetzeltes with sliced tenderloin beef (as an alternate to original recipe of veal meat) in mushroom and cream sauce can be prepared in Bangladesh as well. The recipe is presented below- Enjoy!
 
Meat
600 gm of tenderloin beef, sliced into thin strips
Butter as needed for frying
1 tablespoon of plain flour to sprinkle all over the tenderloin strips, and coat well
In a frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter until it is slightly foamy, immediately add the meat and quickly brown on all sides for about 3 minutes each side. And then set aside the meat to a dish and cover with foil to keep warm.
 
Sauce
1 tablespoon of butter, melt in the same pan
200 gm of mushrooms, ½ sliced onions (finely chopped) and 2 cloves of garlic minced. Sauté the onion and garlic together for a minute or two and then stir in the mushrooms and add one teaspoon of fresh lemon zest (finely chopped) and cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
200 ml cream to be blended well and added to pan, bringing to boil, stirring and cook for approx. another 3 minutes
Return the cooked veal meat to pan, warm through and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley leaves 
 
Preparation time: approx. 40 mins.