Switzerland may be known for its chocolate and cheese, but it also has a number of traditionally Swiss sausages. Here’s a list of 11 examples of these meaty specialties from around the country. How many have you already tried?
1. Cervelat / Cervelas
A short and stubby boiled sausage made with beef and smoked pork, the Cervelat (German) or the Cervelas (French) is considered by many as Switzerland’s national sausage. You’ll especially see it in the summertime, grilled or cooked over a fire. It can be eaten hot or cold. Another way to prepare Cervalat is in a “salad” with chunks of cheese.
Boutefas, a rather large smoked raw pork sausage, comes from the canton of Vaud. Its fat, asymmetrical shape is due to its natural casing, a pouch known as the cecum.
3. St. Galler Bratwurst
This boiled bratwurst from canton of St. Gallen contains veal and pork. It has a white color, in part, because it includes milk as one of its ingredients. You will often have this sausage with a St. Galler Bürli bread roll. You’ll find a recipe for this roll in my Swiss Bread book.
4. Berner Zungenwurst
The name of this boiled sausage from the canton of Bern implies that it includes tongue (“zungen”) as one of its ingredients, but it in fact does not. Instead, the Zungenwurst contains a mix of beef, pork and bacon, and it has a coarse texture. It’s used as part of a well-known regional dish from Bern, the Berner Platte.
5. Saucisson Neuchâtelois
Saucisson Neuchâtelois, a smoked pork sausage, contains lean pork meat (two-thirds) and bacon (one-third). Cow intestines serve as its casing. During the fall, people like to cook these sausages outdoors in the embers of a fire. This practice is known as a Torrée neuchâteloise. Another popular way to serve this sausage is baked within a brioche loaf.
6. Appenzeller Siedwurst
Found in the two Appenzell half-cantons, Siedwurst is a boiled sausage made from beef, pork and bacon and seasoned with caraway, pepper, salt and garlic. Chäshörnli, a regional version of macaroni and cheese with applesauce on the side, is often served with this sausage.
7. Saucisson aux Choux
According to a Swiss legend, the Saucisson aux Choux (cabbage sausage) dates back to 879 when a German emperor visited Vaud. Without enough meat to serve their distinguished guest, the locals added some cabbage to the sausage. Today, people use this sausage in a local dish, Papet Vaudois, made with potatoes and leeks.
8. Saucisson Vaudois
Another raw-cured pork sausage from the canton of Vaud, the Saucisson Vaudois can contain seasonings such as coriander and wine. You must cook this sausage, but then it can be served cold or hot. Similar to the Saucisson Neuchâtelois, you will also find this sausage baked in a brioche loaf.
A pork sausage stuffed into sheep casings, you will find Lunganighetta primarily in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking regions. These sausages are popular during festive gatherings, when you cook them outside. The little sausage spirals can contain a mix of seasonings, such as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, garlic and wine.
Another pork sausage, butchers in the canton of Geneva season Longeole with fennel seeds. This raw, unsmoked sausage has a light pink color and a somewhat coarse texture. Typical accompaniments are potatoes, lentils or a gratin de cardons.
11. Saucisse d’Ajoie
From the Jura canton, the Saucisse d’Ajoie is a smoked pork sausage seasoned with cumin. Producers will also sometimes add nutmeg or red wine. The process of smoking sausages in this region dates back centuries, but the name given to this particular meat product comes from the 1920s.
There are many more Swiss sausages to discover! Which is your favorite? Please leave a comment below or send me an email.
Categories: Alpine food, Culinary travel, Meat, Swiss, Swiss food, Switzerland
Another great reason to visit Switzerland. Looks delicious
Yes! And, thanks David! So many more to add to this list.
Wonderful article Heddi. About food in Switzerland. I’ve been living back in the United States 30 years now after having lived in Switzerland for 10 years and I really do Miss the food in Switzerland. I know so many of those sausages are not wonderful for our arteries, but they are delicious and I love them with mustard, very sharp mustard. And once in a while, we find them here at Aldi or Lidl. Thank you for sharing Heddi
Thanks, Poppy! Yes, these sausages are to be enjoyed from time to time and not every day! 🙂 I like them with mustard too, but not everyone does. In St. Gallen in particular, they don’t think you need mustard for the local bratwurst. Glad you can find something similar in the US. Best wishes, -Heddi
My favourite is the saucisson au choux, definitely. Now living in France, there is nothing like that and I’m not eating that much meat anymore. But you made me dream of such a saucisse served with a creamy Gratin Dauphinois – a Swiss-French marriage 😄
Saucisson aux choux is a favorite of many, and has an interesting legend behind it! Good choice. 🙂