In Switzerland, there are many traditional meals that even the Swiss have not heard of or tasted yet! We do love our chocolate and cheese, but our regions have so much more to offer! One brand new place, Helvetimart, opened its doors in Lausanne this year. The shop will take you on a purely Swiss culinary journey where all of the 26 cantons' specialties are available!
According to MySwitzerland,
"The culinary side of Switzerland is a real galore of dishes that deserves to be explored from a place to another. Because next to the rare national dishes, there are above all specialties that come from different regions on the menu"
Our national dishes help Swiss chefs achieve stunning menus and reach extreme levels of perfection as well as taste. Don’t take it from us, just look at the facts!
"The Michelin Guide to Switzerland 2017 has been revealed, and whilst the number of restaurants with three stars remains, fittingly, at three, two new two star and 12 new one star ratings were awarded – Switzerland now has the highest number of Michelin stars per capita in Europe, with 117." , wrote Tom Jenkins.
Impressive isn't it? But apart from our gastronomic restaurants, we have so much more to offer! Simple traditional recipes that even some Swiss have never tried or heard of before! There is a dilemma in our country… we count 26 cantons and yet food in our normal grocery stores might not even sell products from 5 of those regions.
Thankfully for us and our rumbling stomachs, there is a new kid in town! Helvetimart, founded in 2017 by Alexandra Gandoulf and Guillaume Schleipen, both EHL Alumni, has recently opened in the streets of Lausanne offering fresh products from all 26 cantons!
“We regroup the Swiss culinary specialities under a same roof and we have arranged them in the shop canton by canton and not by category of product as you can often find in grocery shops. That means that you can find emblematic products from the 26 cantons. We also work directly with each producer.” explains Alexandra.
With over 400 products from all around Switzerland, Helvetimart will definitely change your perception of the Swiss food traditions. You can also stop by and give a go at their daily takeaway menu deal! To make it even better, the founders decided to offer daily tastings on-site, as well as to organised various workshops and events for clients to meet with the producers from every canton. How exciting?
Another great detail about this new concept is its packaging's very unique and eye-catching design. If you go by their shop, located on La Rue du Petit Chêne, you will see that their design and aesthetic are very noticeable and out of the ordinary. They claim that it was inspired by Swiss crafts such as Swiss-German half-timbered houses!
First of all, and most importantly, they wish for locals and tourists to discover all of Switzerland's 26 cantons' culinary traditions. Of course we have all heard of spätzli and double cream with meringues, but there is so much more to taste in our small country, like the Chügelipateste from Luzern, the Zürcher Geschnetzelte from Zurich, or the Älplermagronen from Central Switzerland!
The couple also has in mind to put forward our culinary heritage and to break the myth of the famous "Röstigraben", the invisible wall that separates the French Swiss and the German Swiss.
Guillaume and Alexandra met at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in 2009 and are now soon to be married! As any couple, there is always something that keeps pushing them closer to each other… and in their case, it is FOOD. What is uncommon about that is that unlike other people, when they travel they are not very excited to visit museums and local architecture. What really gives them a thrill is to look for great local restaurants and try new tastes!
Alexandra used to travel a lot around Switzerland for business purposes and would always bring back little specialities back home from all the different cantons. That is when a thought sparked in their heads:
“We know so much about the food surrounding our country and close to nothing about our own! And it’s crazy because we have 26 cantons that overflows with specialties”.
That is when they both started to roam the country searching for all of the hidden gems in order to regroup them all in one place for our stomach’s enjoyment.The couple explains that their shop is a celebration of Switzerland:
“We are one country and we are proud of its diversity”.
Author: Salomé Ephrati, Bachelor Student