There are few places that have given their name to so many foods as Appenzell.
Sure, there is Philadelphia with its Philly Steak & Cheese sandwich. There is Canada with branded maple syrup and Back Bacon, Frankfurt with its Frankfurter sausages and London with London Dry Gin. But Appenzell beats all these places.
When visiting Switzerland’s North East, here is a list of the top ten Appenzell foods and delicacies you must try. You will quickly see that Appenzellers love sweets, meats, cheese – and drinks.
A soft gingerbread with an almond filling. An Appenzeller Bärli-Biber is the perfect snack for hiking, skiing or trail-running.
The Brauerei Locher is now Switzerland’s largest independent brewer, producing some 27 different beers. Their flagship beer is the popular Appenzeller Quöllfrisch. Their Schwarzer Krystal or Swiss Stout are great alternatives to Guinness. The brewery is the fastest growing employer in Appenzell Innerrhoden.
Think Jägermeister, but better. The perfect digestif after a meal of Siedwurst, cheese, potatoes and other great alpine delicacies. Appenzeller Alpenbitter is best enjoyed on ice.
On the last Sunday of April, the half canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden holds its Landsgemeinde (where people vote on issues in the central square). This yearly event is full of tradition including parades, sabers, speeches and the Landsgmedchrempfli (no spelling mistake).
These delicious sugar-egg pastries filled with hazelnuts were traditionally brought home by the men who voted to their wives. An interesting aside to these pastries is that they were traditionally never baked in private households. First, they were produced in monasteries and then by professional bakers, but not at home. Today, they are available year-round.
The number one product for marketing the canton: Appenzeller cheese made from a secret recipe that is only known to two men. Fun fact: A written recipe is kept in a vault at the Appenzeller Kantonalbank in the town of Appenzell.
With five different varieties, try each one individually, squeezed in a sandwich or melted in an Appenzeller cheese fondue at the Restaurant Adler or the Schaukäserei in Stein.
Here is a classic video that shows just how famous Appenzell is – and how important the cheese is: “Mein Vater ist ein Appenzeller, er isst de Chäs mitsamt em Teller…” (“My father is an Appenzeller, he eats the cheese and the plate, too…”)
Spiced, cured, smoked beef. You need to try this.
Made with fresh cream and sugar, these small caramel candies will make you feel like a child – if just for a brief moment.
Love Alpenbitter digestif? Love chocolate? Put them together, and there you have the Appenzeller Stengeli: Dark chocolate vessels filled with Alpenbitter…
A white sausage of veal, beef and pork, spiced with caraway. It is Appenzell’s answer to the Bavarian Weisswurst.
Just like the eclectic Appenzeller have an answer to Weisswurst, they also have their own version of salami. The Bauernschüblig is a cured sausage of beef and pork – perfect for your next apéro.
So, are you ready to eat like an Appenzeller?
(All photographs copyright by appenzell.ch)