How to Eat a Gipfeli

Gipfeli - Paul-Georg Meister /

There is probably nothing I miss more about Switzerland than it's great selection of breads and pastries. I remember working in a small town near Zurich where everyday we were visited by a Znüni-Wägeli (lit. 9 o'clock break vehicle) that brought the local bakeries fresh products. Imagine the smell of fresh Weggli (rolls),  Maisbrötli (corn rolls) or - even better - Schoggigipfeli (chocolate croissants)! Combined with a hot cop of coffee these treats make for a perfect morning break.

The most famous of of Swiss pastries is the Gipfeli (croissant). This flaky moon shaped pastry is very similar to its French relative but slightly less buttery. You can find Gipfeli in every bakery, café and supermarket. Many times you can choose between the classic Buttergipfeli (butter croissant) and it's variants such as Schoggigipfeli (chocolate croissant), Laugegipfeli (lye covered croissant) or Vollkorngipfeli (whole-grain croissant).

Once you've bought or ordered your Gipfeli, it's time to enjoy. Only, what is the correct form to eat such a treat? Obviously, there are no rules that govern Gipfeli eating in Switzerland. Personal preferences will decide if you eat your Gipfeli the traditional way with butter and jam, with chocolate spread or simply pure. Generally speaking, however, most people follow the same steps in enjoying their fresh Gipfeli.

How to Eat a Gipfeli

A Gipfeli is typically served on a small plate and accompanied by small servings of butter and jam, most often strawberry jam. You'll use a knife and your hands for preparing and eating your Gipfeli.

1. Lift the Gipfeli with your hand and bite off one of it's tips.
2. Use your knife to spread first butter and then jam where your bite has exposed the croissants interior while still holding it in your hand.
3. Lift the Gipfeli and bite off the part with butter and jam.
4. Follow steps 2 and 3 until all of the Gipfeli has disappeared in your mouth.




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