The list of 30 Swiss agricultural products protected by the government includes cheese—which my son can’t safely eat—but what else appears on the list? I got my answer after (finally) reading a beautiful magazine about Switzerland’s La Semaine du Goût—a weeklong celebration of traditional Swiss foods (I attended Festin Neuchâtelois in September 2013 as part of this event).
To give you some background, the Swiss government uses two special designations for agricultural products other than wine:
- “Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP)” or Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
- “Indication Géographique Protégée” (IGP) or Protected Geographic Indication (PGI)
You may have seen similar designations for wine before (e.g., AOC), which means the product was prepared in a certain way and from a particular geographic region. Designations like the two listed above can be applied to other agricultural food products, such as cheese or sausage.
The purpose of the AOP/IGP designation is both to protect consumers and the products. For consumers, the designation stands for a quality product produced in the traditional way. Also, this designation prohibits companies from using a traditional name for a protected food product, like Gruyère cheese, if they can’t meet certain production standards.
The complete list of Swiss AOP/IGP products appears below (there’s also a map). I consider it one of my new “to-do” lists, as I personally want to try all of these foods. When I can, I’ll also share these products with my son—when they’re free of dairy, eggs (raw or undercooked) and almonds.
- Abricotine: Apricot-flavored liqueur
- Eau-de-vie de poire du Valais: Pear-flavored liqueur
- Damassine: Plum-flavored liqueur
- Zuger Kirsch/Rigi Kirsch: Cherry-flavored liqueur
- Recipe: Basel Läkerli with pumpkin seeds (dairy/egg/nut-free)
Bread and cereals
- Rheintaler Ribelmais: A ground corn product from Switzerland’s Rhine valley.
- Pain de seigle valaisan: I bought a loaf of this rye bread when we stayed in Grimentz and tried making my own with rye flour from the local mill.
- Berner Alpkäse and Berner Hobelkäse
- Emmentaler: In the United States, this is what we know as “Swiss cheese.”
- Formaggio d’Alpe Ticinese
- Raclette du Valais
- Tête de Moine
- Vacherin Fribourgeois
- Vacherin Mont-d’Or
Fruit, vegetables and spices
- Cardon épineux genevois: It apparently resembles a thistle, but tastes like an artichoke.
- Munder Safran: Saffron from the mountain village of Mund in the canton of Valais.
- Poire à Botzi: A type of pear sold fresh or canned.
- Bündnerfleisch: Thinly-sliced, air-dried beef from the canton of Graubünden. We use this for quick sandwiches at lunchtime, and when we’re traveling in Switzerland.
- Glarner Kalberwurst*: A sausage from the canton of Glarus.
- Longeole: A pork and fennel sausage from Geneva.
- Saucisse d’Ajoie: A pork sausage with cumin from the canton of Jura.
- Recipe: Chips de saucisse d’Ajoie from Femina
- Saucisson Neuchâtelois: A sausage made with two-thirds pork, one-third bacon from the canton of Neuchâtel.
- Saucisse aux Choux Vaudoise: Cabbage sausage from the canton of Vaud.
- Recipe: Vaud-Style Flammkuchen
- Saucisse Vaudoise: Pork sausage from the canton of Vaud.
- St. Galler Bratwurst / St. Galler Kalbsbratwurst*: From St. Gallen, this sausage is made from veal and pork.
- Viande Séchée du Valais: Thinly-sliced air-dried beef from the canton of Valais.
As I discover allergy-friendly recipes using these products, I’ll continue to update this post. And as a reminder, please check labels every time to determine if any of these products contain or may contain ingredients you are currently avoiding because of food allergies.
*Not dairy-free, based on my initial research.
**“Café de Colombia” (coffee from Colombia) is the only non-Swiss product to appear on this list, and it has an IGP designation.
On Monday, I’m heading to Bern for an early morning festival. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Bon week-end!
Updated: June 17, 2014