Switzerland – Birchermüesli
What’s cooking in Switzerland?
Franziska was born and raised in Frauenfeld, in the apple farming canton Thurgau. She moved to Zurich 20 years ago and has lived there ever since with the exception of some years abroad. Franziska has created a website with the intention to help expats with life in Switzerland, called Little Zurich Kitchen. On her website, she explains cultural things, Swiss eating habits and she shares Swiss recipes. A very useful website, and not only for foreigners because as food and culture can differ between the cantons, even for Swiss people it could be a great source of information! Franziska says that since there are so many regional recipes, she has also learned a lot herself through the research for her posts. She says: ‘Having grown up in the German speaking part, much of the French speaking cuisine is still a mystery to me’. The recipe Franziska shares with us today is a real national one to me, as I think Birchermüesli is eaten in the whole country, and, according to Franziska, the Swiss eat this at any time of the day, even though it’s most known to be eaten for breakfast. A lot of Swiss have their own Birchermüesli recipe, and I am happy that Franziska has shared her family recipe with us which she has learned from her mum!
What Franziska says about Swiss cuisine
Up until the 1940’s, Switzerland was a relatively poor and humble farmers country. We didn‘t have a significant aristocracy or industries, which is reflected in our food. It‘s humble, easy to make dishes, often heavy on meat and fat as the farmers needed calorie rich food. People are eating lighter and vegetarian meals too these days but as a nation we still love our sausages and cured meats!
- 1 large pot (500g) plain yoghurt
- 35g of oat meal or millet flakes
- 1 banana
- 1 apple
- 1/2 handful raisins or 3 dried figs
- winter recipe: 1 orange and a handful of frozen raspberries
- summer recipe: 2 cups of mixed fresh berries or fruit (raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants, plums, nectarines, cherries,…)
- 5 walnuts
- optional: 1.5dl whipping cream
How to prepare:
Pour the yoghurt into a bowl. Finely grate the apple straight into the bowl and mix quickly so the apple doesn’t turn brown. In Switzerland there’s a grater called Bircherraffel (Bircher grater, see the photo with the ingredients), which is usually used for grating the apple. But you can also use a more coarse grater.
Chop all other fruit, including the figs and the walnuts and mix with the yoghurt. Add the oat meal or millet too. Mix well and add sugar to taste – personally I don’t put any sugar into our Birchermüesli as the bananas and raisins/figs provide enough sweetness for our taste but other people do add sugar as they like it sweeter.
Let the Birchermüesli rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours so the grains can soften.
For an indulgent version, add 1.5dl of whipped cream just before serving. We only do this if we have visitors over for a brunch. For our everyday Birchermüesli we prefer to keep it healthier without the additional calories of the cream.
Enjoy with a slice of fresh bread!
At Let’s Explore, we have of course tried out Franziska’s delicious Birchermüesli, and I couldn’t think of any other place to taste it better than while enjoying one of Switzerland’s many stunning views! In my case, right in front of the Aletsch Glacier, the biggest glacier in Switzerland!
Thank you Franziska for having shared your family Birchermüesli recipe with us! If you would like to know more about Swiss food, and try out any other regional recipes, then have a look at Franziska’s website Little Zurich Kitchen. I am personally really fond of the Graubünden Barley Soup that I have tasted while travelling in Switzerland, so I will definitely try that one out as well!