Photo: Switzerland Cheese Marketing
The ultimate Swiss foodie gift must be a fondue set. And now you can even get your loved one a fondue subscription to go with it. A cheese cooperative in the Fribourg region launched the subscription service earlier this year, allowing customers to get a handy pack of perfectly mixed fondue cheese delivered to their door once a month (which is probably the most any stomach could handle). What could be better!
Books about Switzerland
Want to give your friends and relatives a little insight into your adopted home? These books should help them out.
Andie Pilot, the Canadian-Swiss author of the website Helvetic Kitchen, has published a cookbook of the same name showcasing her favourite Swiss recipes, such as Alpler Magronen, Rösti and Papet Vaudois.
Or jump on the adult colouring book trend and pick up a copy of The Big Swiss Colouring Book, which has some beautiful scenes of Swiss life and culture to colour in.
New arrivals to the country might like to gift a copy of How to be Swiss to their partner or children. By Swiss Watching author Diccon Bewes and cartoonist Michael Meister, it's an “entertaining instruction manual” to help you navigate living in or visiting the country.
Lastly, for some travel inspiration, Chantal Panozzo's 99.9 Ways to Travel Switzerland Like a Local will set your family and friends up for a 2018 full of exploring.
Photo: Marco Antonio Torres
Don’t even try to go back to your native land for Christmas without stocking your suitcase with Swiss chocolate. Famous chocolate shops Sprüngli and Läderach have branches all over Switzerland – or try popular local chocolateries such as Auer in Geneva, Honold in Zurich and Blondel in Lausanne. But don't leave it too close to Christmas or queues will be out the door.
It's just a shame the new ruby chocolate isn't out for Christmas. Swiss chocolatier Barry Callebaut's new invention will need a few more months before it hits the shelves.
Photo: Swiss Alpine Air
Are your loved ones jealous of all that clean Swiss air you breathe in every day? Well now you can gift it to them thanks to Swiss startup Swiss Alpine Air, which launched mountain air in a can earlier this year.
If you think that's ridiculous, CEO Danny Wurr does have a point when he says: “I remember when they first put water in a bottle and put it on sale. How people laughed. Just look at the bottled water industry today.”
If your family enjoys the annual tradition of coming to blows over a board game at Christmas, this year you can do it with added Swissness by climbing the Matterhorn or following cows up to the mountain pastures – all without leaving the comfort of the sofa.
Photo: The Local
The Swiss love giving wooden toys to kids, especially Trauffer’s beautiful wooden animals. Made by this family business since 1938, they can be found in toy shops all over Switzerland. The range includes every farm animal you could think of plus a few Swiss classics – St Bernard dogs, ibex and marmots. But of course any Swiss farm animal collection worth its salt should begin with a cow, complete with shiny bell hanging around its neck.
Photo: Little Zurich Kitchen
Besides chocolate, there are plenty of other edible Swiss goodies to give at Christmas, such as Basler Läckerli, a glazed gingerbread invented in Basel over 600 years ago. Pick them up at branches of Läckerlihuus throughout the country.
Or have a go at baking Swiss biscuits for yourself, which is very much a Swiss Christmas tradition. Check out Little Zurich Kitchen’s Swiss Wiehnachtsguezli (Christmas cookies) recipes, including cinnamon stars and Mailänderli (pictured).