Culinary Ambassadors: Breakfast in Switzerland, Roesti
Serious Eats' Culinary Ambassadors check in from time to time with reports on food fare in their homeland or countries of residence. Here's the latest! (Find out more about CA or join here!) —The Mgmt.
Rösti (or roesti), made from coarsely ground potatoes, is definitely a Swiss dish, but there as many variations as there are cantons in Switzerland. The Restaurant Anker Bern in Bern lists nearly 30 different versions on its menu. The main difference lies in whether to use raw or cooked potatoes, as well as in what is added to the potatoes.
Rösti à la Bernoise, or Bern-style rösti, is made with potatoes cooked in their skins; the potatoes are cooked the day before, so that they are cold and can be easily grated.
At the beginning of the 19th century, rösti was the main breakfast fare in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and probably started in the rural areas around Zurich. They ate it with café au lait. Gradually it moved south toward the Alps, then to Bern, where it was given the name it now bears. From Bern it moved toward the French-speaking areas, toward canton Vaud, where it eventually replaced their traditional morning soup, and the spelling changed to "roesti."
Do I eat roesti? I don't really wake up until noon, so I am incapable of cooking it for breakfast. I therefore eat oats, rice cakes, or Swiss-style muesli for breakfast.
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