Little Zurich Kitchen is taking you on a culinary journey across Switzerland this year. Each month we visit one canton and show typical food products and dishes from the canton. First up: Thurgau, where I was born and grew up!
Thurgau’s farmers are producing…
…a whole lot of apples and pears! Half of Switzerland’s apple juice, every third Swiss apple and every third Swiss pear is being produced/grown in the canton of Thurgau. The Swiss also call Thurgau Mostindien (apple juice India, in an appraising sort of way) and the winner of the yearly Thurgau beauty competition is called Apfelkönigin (apple queen). But it’s not all apples and pears, Thurgau also produces a large amount of vegetables and is the second largest berry growing canton – if you live in German speaking Switzerland, the chances are high you’re buying Thurgau strawberries and raspberries in your local supermarket. Thurgau also produces cheese, mostly milder varieties such as the Thurgauer Rahmkäse. Bordering lake Constance also means Thurgau delivers fish to the Swiss markets, shops and restaurants, for example powan (Felchen) and European perch (Egli).
There are many well-known Thurgau-based food businesses too
Schweizer Zucker AG. One of the two Swiss sugar factories is based in Frauenfeld, Thurgau’s capital (also read our post Life In A Swiss Sugar-Production Town), therefore almost 50% of the sugar consumed in Switzerland is being made from sugar beets in Frauenfeld.
E. Zwicky. Swiss specialties mill in Müllheim since 125 years. The mill produces many high end cereals and other grain based products. Our favourite: the Zwicky Birchermüesli cereals mix.
Gottlieber. This chocolate factory in the beautiful village of Gottlieben at Lake Constance makes the delicate Gottlieber Hüppen (wafer rolls filled with praline, mocha or gianduja). Since the year 1928. More about the company in our chocolates gifts post.
Ittinger Klosterbräu. Karthause Ittingen (Ittinger Charterhouse) is one of the most stunning places in Thurgau – beautiful old huts and larger buildings nestled in beautiful gardens and surrounded by fertile fields – a visit is highly recommended. The Charterhouse also grow hops and produce their own beer called Ittinger Klosterbräu. It’s one of my favourite Swiss beers.
Biotta. High end organic juices and smoothies by Biotta in Tägerwilen at Lake Constance. The Biotta juices are the go to product for a Swiss style juice detox.
A. Vogel. Natural and herbal medicines by A. Vogel. Their Echinacea products are in high demand during flu season and they have many other great products. Based in Roggwil. There’s an informative visitor centre too.
Bischofszell Nahrungsmittel. A company owned by Migros, producing a substantial share of Migros’ processed foods. For example the products of the convenience foods brand Anna’s Best, tinned foods, tubed foods and sauces in boxes and jars. Also jams, crisps, Migros’ cult ice tea (read our explanation here) and frozen vegetables. The company is based in the town of Bischofszell.
Ramseier. Producing Switzerland’s famous Apfelschorle (apple juice mixed with sparkling water), apple juice (sparkling and non sparkling, filtered and unfiltered), Sauser and more. The company is over 100 years old. Production place: Oberaach. Möhl is another well-known, Thurgau based apple juice bottling company.
Bschüssig.Pasta factory based in Frauenfeld. Yearly production: 10’000 tons, divided into 120 pasta shapes. Available in certain Coop shops, Volg, Spar, Denner and others. Start of production in 1876.
The typical Thurgau dishes are a humble affair
Thurgau has always been a farmer’s canton without an abundance of money or a rich aristocracy, hence the typical dishes are humble too, and of course many of them contain apples. The delicious Thurgauer Süssmost Creme (apple juice cream dessert) and the Arenenberger Apfeltorte (tarte tatin style apple tart) are probably the most famous ones.