12 Graubünden Food Specialties You Should Try

It’s no secret that Graubünden is one of my favorite Swiss cantons, especially because of its rich culinary heritage. In terms of surface area, this canton is the largest in Switzerland. If you’re planning a visit there, here’s my list of 12 Graubünden food specialties you should try, in no particular order:

1. Bündner Gerstensuppe

A hearty barley soup with meat and vegetables, and often a splash of cream. It’s especially popular in the winter at ski resorts in this region.

A bowl of Gerstensuppe on the terrace of the Hotel Saratz in Pontresina, Switzerland.

2. Bündner Nusstorte

Another specialty in Graubünden, particularly in the Engadine region, is the Nusstorte (German) or Torta da Nuschs (Romansh). This tart has shortcrust pastry that surrounds a walnut and caramel filling.

A nusstorte from Funaria Pastizaria Shlatter in Scuol, Switzerland.

3. Bündner Birnbrot

Birnbrot is made with Switzerland’s special whole dried pears. These dark brown pears make up the filling of this spiced bread, along with nuts and other dried fruits, such as figs and raisins. These loaves are especially popular at Christmas and during the winter months.

Bündner Birnbrot is made with whole dried pears.

4. Capuns

Many different versions exist for Capuns, little dumplings wrapped in a Swiss chard leaf. They can be served in a dish of beef bouillon or in a cream-based sauce. Cured meat may be in the filling or served on top or both. You can also find vegetarian versions of this dish, made with mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes, for example.

Capuns from the restaurant at Il Fuorn in Switzerland’s National Park.

5. Bündner Röteli

Distillers make Bündner Röteli, a sweet red liqueur, with dried cherries. The capital of Graubünden, Chur has its own version. Churer Röteli is typically made with fresh cherries. Along with dried cherries, a typical Bündner Röteli contains water, alcohol, sugar, herbs and spices and cherry juice. 

A bottle of Churer Röteli from the Drogerie am Martinsplatz in Chur.

6. Bündnerfleisch

Graubünden’s air-dried and raw-cured beef is served thinly sliced. The seasoning mixture for Bündnerfleisch can include spices such as pepper, garlic, ginger, juniper, bay leaf and allspice.

7. Bütschella

A sweet, yeasted bread roll made with raisins and lemon zest. Bütschella buns appear during holiday celebrations, like Easter and Christmas, but you can also find them throughout the year.

8. Pfirsichsteine

In the Swiss city of Chur, you’ll find a special sweet treat with a unique shape. Known as the Bündner Pfirsichsteine, these are “peach pits” you can eat! Soft and not too sweet, they’re quite irresistible and make a nice souvenir or gift from Graubünden’s capital city. 

9. Salsiz

With its characteristic rectangular shaped slices, Salsiz is an air-dried raw salami. Butchers generally make it with pork and beef. According to Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse, the name Salsiz derives from the Italian word for sausage, “salsiccia.”

Handmade Salsiz on display at Fleischzentrum in Klosters Dorf.

10. Thusner Hosenknöpfe

Thusner Hosenknöpfe refers to sweet little biscuits flavored with rosewater and lemon zest. Hosenknöpfe means “trouser buttons,” a name these biscuits earned for their shape and size. They are popular during the time leading up to and during Easter.


11. Brasciadela

Brasciadela (or Brascidèla) represents the local name for Graubünden’s ring bread in Val Poschiavo. It’s known as the cantonal bread for this area. Bakers make Brasciadela with rye flour and anise seed (optional).

Brasciadela from Pasticceria – Panetteria Bordoni in Poschiavo, Switzerland.

12. Tatsch

Finally, I want you to imagine a cross between a Dutch baby and an American-style pancake. Then, chop it up, fry it a bit more and you have Tatsch. You can make it either sweet or savory. I like this chopped pancake dusted with powdered sugar and paired with fruit preserves or applesauce.

Tatsch and plum jam
Homemade Tatsch dusted with powdered sugar and served with plum jam.

What are your favorite Graubünden food specialties? Please leave a comment below!

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