Our 2018 Focus on La Francophonie region is:


Flag of Switzerland

Location of  Switzerland  (green) in Europe  (green & dark grey)


Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. This federal republic is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura. Below are some basic facts about Switzerland, followed by links to sites where you can learn more about the culture and history of this region.  Finally, you will find some information about Swiss cuisine

Capital None (de jure)
Bern (de facto)
Largest city Zürich
Official languages German
Demonym English: Swiss,
German: Schweizer(in),
French: Suisse,
Italian: svizzero / svizzera, or elvetico / elvetica,
Romansh: Svizzer / Svizra
Government Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party parliamentary directorial republic
Walter Thurnherr
Legislature Federal Assembly
• Upper house
Council of States
• Lower house
National Council
c. 1300 (traditionally 1 August 1291)
24 October 1648
7 August 1815
12 September 1848
• Total
41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) (132nd)
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
Increase 8,508,898 (100th)
• 2015 census
• Density
206/km2 (533.5/sq mi) (68th)
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
• Total
$517 billion (39th)
• Per capita
$61,360 (9th)
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
• Total
$681 billion (19th)
• Per capita
$80,837 (2nd)
Currency Swiss franc (CHF)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
Date format dd.mm.yyyy (AD)
Driving side right
Patron saint St Nicholas of Flüe


Wikipedia: Switzerland  Wikipédia: Suisse

Worldatlas: Switzerland  CIA Factbook: Switzerland


Swiss Cuisine

When it comes to food, Switzerland is known for two things above all else: chocolate and cheese. Swiss chocolate from brands like Lindt and Toblerone is increasingly available in US supermarkets. What Americans call “Swiss cheese” is a variation on traditional Swiss Emmental. The Swiss are famous for eating their cheese warm and melted with meat, potatoes, vegetables, etc. Recipes for the two most popular melted cheese dishes, fondue and raclette, can be found at the following links. Bon appétit!

Classic Swiss Fondue

Please note that all traditional fondue recipes call for some kind of wine or alcohol. It’s not just a question of flavor, the acidity and additional liquid from the wine keeps the cheese from curdling as it is heated. You can substitute white grape juice, apple juice, or vegetable stock if you don’t want to use wine.

Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue



Raclette isn’t so much a recipe as it is a style of serving food: melted cheese poured over meat, potatoes, and vegetables. Electric raclette makers can be purchased from culinary stores and online retailers. But you can make it in a regular oven / broiler as described in the linked recipe.

Image result for raclette suisse traditionnelle