Switzerland is a country that is small in size and lodged in the middle of several larger countries making its culture more blended. The main themes to be established in its cuisine take notes from German, French and Italian rules. In the southern part’s, polenta and risotto are very popular while west of that French dominates leaving the north to German ancestry. These three may be on the main course, but are not the sole participant’s in Switzerland’s dinner table. The country prefers to have a mix of cultures from other neighboring countries and to diverse its pallet. The three dishes created solely by the nation and is a specialty there are Fondue, Chocolate, and Raclette.
The etiquette that must take place varies typically between German, French and Italian, but all come with certain rules before taking place. First the guest is expected to bring a gift such as chocolate or wine from a local place. Since the drinking age is sixteen, alcohol is very common to have at a meal, so be prepared to drink out of curtesy. Dinner is very formal so one must dress nicely and use extremely good table manners. When at the table it is important to remember to greet everyone properly with a firm handshake, including children, before being seated. The middle of the table is reserved for the place of honor when seating instead of at the head or next to the host.
There should be no elbows on the table, yet arms only are fine. It is important that you do not drink until the toast is made, which you should be sure to clink glasses with everyone in reach without getting up from the seat. Because the Swiss have a high approval for trying something new, it is important to try a little bit of everything on the table. Be mindful of the amount you serve yourself because it is very rude to leave any food behind on the plate.
When finished, place knife and fork parallel to each other and pointing to the right while being directly in the middle of the plate. If you wish to ask for seconds set the utensils as an “X” on the plate with fork pointed left. The Swiss tend to be very direct in responses so try not to beat around the bush. Topics to avoid, however, are religion and salary since no one wants anyone to feel uncomfortable in regards to either. When at a restaurant, it is important to not leave any money on the table. One should hand cash over to the sever for the bill with the tip included and to be very clear on how much you are paying for each, so they know how much to bring back in change. It is common for the tip to be at ten percent and is usually included in the bill.
When dining on a German meal it is important to avoid eating with hands as well as keeping arms away from resting on the lap. When presented with a majority French meal, one must include the above, but also remember to wait for host to say when to ear as well as to not chew with mouth open. A napkin is to be on the lap and you must expect second or even third helpings. When given an Italian meal, there is not as many restrictions as the other two but you have to leave your glass half full when you are done and stay at the table until everyone is finished. With either meal eaten, the Swiss enjoy having a wine or other alcohol selection chosen.