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Rediscovering my Swiss Roots Through Culinary Traditions

Updated: Mar 28

Growing up in a Swiss household with a Swiss mother who lovingly prepared traditional Swiss meals provided me with a profound connection to my heritage, despite moving away from Switzerland at a young age.

While my formative years were spent in Montreal, Canada, the aromas wafting from our kitchen and the flavors on our dinner table connected me to my heritage, fostering a deep appreciation for Swiss cuisine that remains with me to this day.

One of the most cherished aspects of returning to Switzerland is the opportunity to reconnect with my culinary roots. Beyond the joy of visiting extended family and reveling in the breathtaking scenery, it's the food that truly captivates my senses and stirs memories of my youth and to where I come from.

One of my fondest memories is gathering around the table with loved ones to enjoy a classic Swiss fondue. Not only did I learn valuable lessons from my mother on how to properly prepare a fondue (constant stirring in figure 8s), I also learned to appreciate the value of a shared one pot meal. As we all dipped our squares of crusty bread into the bubbling cauldron of melted cheese, laughter filled the air as we focused on not losing our bread* , and stories were exchanged, creating cherished moments that remain etched in my memory.

*Losing bread meant having to kiss your neighbour, or as an adult take a shot of kirsch. Ah, the Swiss, they do know how to host a fun Fondue night!

Beyond the fun nights of cheese, I have fond memories of going to the bakery with my grandmother and getting to eat a fresh croissant or warm weggli (a Swiss Milk Bread) as we walked back to her house.

Somehow the food just tasted better in Switzerland. (I always said, it must be because of the happy cows and their milk).

To this day, whether I am indulging in a decadent slice of Swiss chocolate or savoring the delicate sweetness of a freshly baked Swiss pastry, every bite tastes like a celebration of tradition and craftsmanship.

It's these culinary experiences that serve as a bridge between past and present, connecting me to my Swiss roots and reminding me of the importance of preserving and honoring our culinary heritage.

In essence, Swiss cuisine to me isn't just about the food itself; it's about the memories, traditions, and sense of belonging that it evokes.

For me, returning to Switzerland is not only a journey back to my homeland but also a rediscovery of who I am and where I come from, one delicious bite at a time.

And while I may have left Switzerland behind physically a long time ago, its flavors continue to nourish my soul and keep me tethered to my roots, no matter where life may take me.

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