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A cheesy smile

Mountains, chocolate and banks are among the first things that come to mind when foreigners think of Switzerland. But it doesn’t take long for cheese to enter the picture. And anybody who has ever treated themselves to a fondue in an Alpine hut also remembers the smile it put on their face.

The origin of the Swiss national dish of fondue is contested. It definitely comes from the Western Alps, but the regions of Savoy and Piedmont both lay claim to having invented it (and in Piedmont, truffles are of course used). Jean-Jacques Rousseau associated fondue with the area around Geneva. The oldest Swiss recipe written in German dates back to 1699, but only when the dish found its way into the army cookbook in the 1950s did it become the symbol of the nation.

The specially designed sheet with the “Fondue pot” and “Cheese” motifs, as well as a list of ingredients, immortalizes this piece of Switzerland. The scene is reminiscent of the terrace of an Alpine hut: a wooden table, perfect mountain surroundings in the background, the dishes, the ingredients − everything rustically displayed in warm colours. Viewers feel momentarily transported to a cosy atmosphere and are even convinced they can smell the homely scents.

Jürg Freudiger