Head to Switzerland for a real farm-to-table meal

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The hike, which the Swiss call “the wandering”, takes you through farmland where huge cows graze and sometimes blocks wide paths. Looking up from the chewing grass, the cows gaze at you in wonder and what could be nonchalance or maybe respect.

Of these farms, often populated with small herds of no more than eight to twelve cows – all of which have names (the most common are Rosalie, Lila, Dixi, Vita, Olivia, Luna) and are considered part of the family – comes the incredible milk used to create these famous Swiss cheeses and chocolates, as well as yogurts and other great fresh and regional products.

This is the perfect place to experience a real farm-to-table meal.

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A few years ago, women farmers from all over Switzerland came together to create Swiss Tavolata, an organization of 40 guests offering the possibility of having a real farm meal, directly in their homes (or fields, gardens, barns or cellars). wine). At least 80 percent of the products must come from the region.

And because the Swiss take themselves seriously as foodies, these are thoughtful, multi-course meals. Examples include “parsnip soup with hazelnut butter” (served at Erika Hanni’s farm in Reichenbach im Kandertal, canton of Bern), “organic roast beef on a bed of hay” (from Migga Falett in Bergun, canton of Graubünden) and “chicken breast stuffed with juicy apples and a side dish of rösti” (at the farm in Regula Fah, canton of Thurgau). Some hosts also offer brunch.

“I love having guests,” Hanni said on a recent German broadcast. “It’s a great way for us to talk to people about agriculture, to invite them to our beautiful house and to offer them good meals made with regional products.

Although many hosts don’t speak much English, you can get by with basic English, German or French. And let’s face it: food is the great communicator. Knock on that big wooden door, smile, take a seat and say “please” and “thank you”.

Prices are 96 Swiss francs ($ 127) with wine, per person, or 76 Swiss francs without wine. Children from 4 to 12 years old are 46 Swiss francs. (Children under four eat free.) Find locations and book at swisstavolata.ch/tavolata.

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