More than 200 varieties of bread are baked in Switzerland. The country is also renowned for its pastries.
Bread baking is a centuries-old tradition in Switzerland. The variety of breads reflects regional preferences and tastes. The German-speaking Swiss tend to prefer their bread darker than their French- and Italian-speaking neighbours. However, as people have become more health-conscious, white bread is increasingly losing ground to brown varieties.
Each canton has its own particular style of loaf. In Graubünden, the loaf is ring-shaped and made from a mixture of wheat and rye flour. The typical Jura loaf is decorated with the cantonal coat-of-arms. The Ticino loaf, made from white flour, is made up of several little loaves put together. Rye bread from the canton of Valais is the only Swiss bread to have the AOP label (protected designation of origin). There is also an array of special festive breads, such as “Cuchaule” from the canton of Fribourg, a saffron-infused brioche loaf served during “Bénichon/Chilbi” (harvest festival).
Switzerland also has a large assortment of traditional biscuits. They include “Läckerli” (made from wheat flour, honey, sugar, candied fruit and nuts), “Hüppen” (rolled and filled wafers) and “Bricelets/Offleten”, wafer-thin waffle biscuits. There are also a number of specialities that are served on the Feast of St Nicholas and during Advent, such as “Lebkuchen” (gingerbread), “Biberli” (marzipan-filled gingerbread), and “Grittibänz”, little leavened man-shaped bread rolls.