“Switzerland, The Country of Cheese and Chocolate”, at least this is how most people think of the country. And it’s not just a saying. A big part of the Swiss food culture is somehow connected to dairy, and Swiss agriculture is dominated by animal livestock. But, some years ago, Switzerland reached a tipping point and the price of milk dropped to a legendary low and as a consequence, the dairy industry was able to survive only with huge subventions from the government. This is when Swiss people became conscious of the problem and started questioning their diet as well as the whole animal agriculture system.
Nowadays, veganism is becoming very popular in Switzerland. Many organisations and private interests joined the vegan movement. Supermarkets offer a good and diverse range of vegan products. There are plant-based restaurants and fast food chains that keep popping up in every good-sized city.
When ordering food in traditional Swiss restaurants, it’s a good idea to review the menu with the restaurant staff since they often use butter and milk or eggs in most dishes, even those that do not seem to require it. For example, when you order a salad, you must make sure that it comes with a vegan dressing and no eggs or bacon as toppings (see LOCAL FOOD page). Do not forget that alas, many of the Swiss pastries (including bread etc.) are made with cow’s milk. It should not be difficult to interact with shop keepers and waiters, as most people speak English, often in addition to French and/or German.
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