Swiss traditions: Rösti

Today was my first official day of living in a city with natural snow, though that was covered in my other Zurich blog so won't be repeated here (read that one first!). Instead, I thought I might cover a few things which seem particularly Swiss - starting with Rösti. This side dish (or, if you're adventurous, main course) is pretty much just grated semi-boiled potatos, fried in a pan (I used this) but can then have random stuff like cheese or bacon added. As not much is open on Sunday night (also a swiss tradition, albeit less tasty), I decided to practice my skills with a sausage and rösti combo, to the surprise of the bratwurst.
Overall, I'd say success for a first shot, but could be (and will be!) experimented with in the future. Speaking of Swiss traditions, a few more worth random ones of interest. Firstly, the house numbering ("Hausnummernschild"), where pretty much all the signs look exactly the same - white text on square blue background.
While it takes a small degree of personalisation away from the people who own the houses, it sure is really easy to tell the numbers of everything on the street, even from far away, something that can be tricky in Australia and result in starting at stranger's letterboxes to find your destination.

Also worth mentioning is the windows that I've seen in every building - handle down = closed, and really quiet. Handle to the side = open on a side hinge, handle up = open a small bit from the top, hinged at the bottom, for aerating a room. Nifty!

The keys also have been similar at all the places I've stayed at - no grooves, just a pattern of dimples at different heights. Plus the blinds were all raised and lowered by long rods that can bend into a Z-like shape for easy rotation, and the toilet flush buttons were all identical. Maybe there's something to this, where if you design something for a non-focal piece of the house that is so simple and useful, you get a monopoly over everyone's use in the city, to help reduce costs and make it easy for everyone. See here for a list of more Swiss traditions that I found while looking up sites for this post - most I've run into already :)

Finally, I feel like I can't post about designs seen everywhere around switzerland without the obvious one, so ubiquitous in the timing field that even Apple 'borrowed' the design for their clocks:
Image from


  1. After experiencing those windows in France, we lusted after them.
    That is until the mosquitoes found me and made my life a misery of itching. No fly (mossie) screens. Woe! Plus they cost about three times as much as local windows. Double woe!
    Fancy apple stealing someone else's design! The railway must've stolen their design! (sarcasm)
    Rosti are just hash browns?

    1. Yeah, just huge hash browns, with optional added contents and crispy
      - what could go wrong? :)
      No mozzies yet, and I'm enjoying the lack of Sydney's cockroaches too.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Sounds good - part 1

Perceiving Frequencies

Real life is full of Kaizo blocks