For the fourth edition of my holiday gift guide for people in Switzerland who love food, I have selected 12 items. The list below includes gift ideas for friends, family members and colleagues who enjoying cooking themselves or who appreciate eating well. As always, I tried to find a diverse selection of products at a range of prices. I hope you enjoy this year’s list!
1. Greentopf – Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes
If you grew up in Switzerland, you very likely own a copy of a cookbook that you received in school. This textbook, known as Tiptopf (German), Croqu’menus (French) and Cosa boll in pentola? (Italian), contains classic Swiss recipes.
Now, for kids (or adults) who seek out vegetarian and vegan cuisine, Switzerland has an alternative textbook in German. Greentopf contains over 200 recipes created in the Hiltl Akademie in Zurich. All of the recipes also contain information related to allergies and intolerances.
Cost: CHF 38
Where to buy: Schulverlag plus AG
2. Handwoven Bread Baskets from Bern
Located in Meiringen, the fabled birthplace of Swiss meringues, is Heimatwerk Haslital. This company produces handwoven textiles with traditional patterns. For people who enjoy fondue, you might consider a cloth bread basket with a Hasli star pattern. Made with linen and machine washable, the diameter of these baskets ranges from 13 to 20 cm.
Cost: CHF 37-69
Where to buy: Heimatwerk Haslital
3. Swiss Cheese Subscription
Two women, one American and one Swiss, have come together to create L’Atelier du Fromage. This company offers artisanal cheese subscriptions with their hand-picked selections from around the country. You can sign up for subscriptions ranging from 1 to 12 months with 2 or 4 different kinds of cheese in each box. They bring cheeses straight to your door that typically may only be available where they’re made.
Cost: Monthly subscriptions, either CHF 28 (two pieces) or CHF 43 (four pieces)
Where to buy: You can order a subscription online via latelier-du-fromage.ch
4. Salsiz Box from Graubünden
A dried sausage from the Swiss canton of Graubünden, its slices have a rectangular shape. For the meat-lover on your holiday shopping list, you can send them a box of these sausages from Alpenhirt. This company uses traditional methods and local ingredients, with the ability to trace your sausage back to the pasture where the cow grazed. This gift box contains five different sausages and a wooden cutting board.
Cost: CHF 59
Where to buy: You can purchase online via alpenhirt.ch
5. Matterhorn Beer Glass
For the beer lovers on your holiday shopping list, how about a special beer glass? The Matterhorn Beer Glass has a special feature inside, a stunning replica of Switzerland’s most famous mountain. For each glass purchased, Alpinte will donate CHF 1 to the Summit Foundation, a nonprofit association that works to reduce the environmental impact of human activity in high-traffic locations.
Cost: CHF 24.90 for a half-pint glass and CHF 26.90 for a pint glass
Where to buy: Vachement Suisse
6. Swiss Panettone from Ticino
You may associate Panettone with Italy, but this sweet yeasted cake also has a long tradition in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking canton, Ticino. Gabbani, Lugano’s well-known purveyor of gourmet food products, sells their panettone throughout the year. Made without any additives, dyes or preservatives, Gabbani uses a homemade “mother dough” for their panettone. They have different sizes and flavors to choose from, including chocolate, Ticinese honey, candied chestnuts and more.
Cost: Between CHF 14 for 300 g to CHF 39 for 1 kg
Where to buy: You can purchase them at their retail store in Lugano or online via Gabbani.ch
7. Glarner Gift Basket
Over the summer, I had the chance to visit Glarussell, a little gift shop with specialties from the canton of Glarus. In addition to ceramics and textiles, the shop also has a variety of regional food products. For a friend or colleague from Glarus or to introduce someone to foods of this Swiss canton, perhaps they might like a Glarner Gift Basket. This lined wicker basket contains a bottle of Glarner Alpenbitter, an herbal liqueur; truffles made with Alpenbitter; and a loaf of Glarner Birnbrot (a dried pear bread).
Cost: CHF 86
Where to buy: Online via Glarussell.ch or at their retail store in Glarus.
8. Gondola Fondue in Zermatt
For that person on your list who doesn’t need any more stuff in their home, how about a gift that gives them a unique fondue experience? The Zermatt Bergbahnen offers a gondola ride with fondue along the way. Enjoy a delicious three-course meal featuring specialties from Valais, all with a spectacular view of the Matterhorn.
Cost: CHF 94.00 per person for adults, CHF 15.99 for children up to 9 years Where to buy: You can purchase tickets or gift certificates via Matterhorn.ch
9. Chocolate Truffles from Neuchâtel
Jacot Chocolatier, one of my local chocolate shops in Neuchâtel just opened a new retail store in Lausanne. A box of their truffles makes an excellent gift during the holiday season. Several of their truffles include Swiss liqueurs, such as absinthe, abricotine and kirsch. Non-alcoholic flavors include hazelnut praline, marzipan and crème fraîche.
10. Bread Cutting Board with Knife
For Swiss bread lovers, I recommend a special wooden cutting board and bread knife from JA\UND. This company works with Arwole, a foundation that provides employment opportunities for people with mental and physical disabilities. This cutting board has slats that help catch the crumbs when you cut a slice of crusty Swiss bread.
Cost: CHF 119 (Ash) or CHF 139 (Walnut)
Where to buy: You can purchase them online via jaund.ch
11. Swiss Wine from Vaud
For the Swiss wine enthusiast on your holiday shopping list, I recommend selecting oen or multiple bottles of wine from Domaine La Colombe. The family-owned vineyard in Féchy (Vaud) uses a biodynamic approach to their wine-making. Check out their Sélection series, developed in partnership with Swiss chefs from the internationally-acclaimed Hôtel de Ville Crissier.
Cost: Individual bottles from CHF 6.60 (Chasselas) to CHF 37 (Pinot noir)
Where to buy: You can purchase their wine online via lacolombe.ch
12. Andreas Caminada’s First Cookbook
Switzerland’s famous 3-Michelin star chef from Graubünden, Andreas Caminada, has written his first cookbook. His recipes include traditional favorites from this Swiss canton, such as Capuns, Maluns or Pizokel. Entitled Pure Leidenschaft (Pure Passion), the book includes beautiful photographs from one of my favorite cantons in Switzerland.
Cost: CHF 39.90
Where to buy: You can purchase online via at-verlag.ch
If you have any other gift suggestions for Swiss food lovers, please leave a comment below or send me an email. Many thanks, and happy holidays!
Please note: These are my personal favorites. I did not receive any compensation from the individuals or companies listed to share information about their products.