On new year’s eve the Swiss traditionally serve an alpine version of a Chinese hot pot, which consists of meats and vegetables cooked in a large pot of hot broth. Like cheese fondu those around the table share a pot, but instead of forks armed with bread or potato, diners are equipped with small wire baskets which are loaded up with meat and vegetables and then submerged into the hot soup to cook.
The Chinese dish, which inspired the Swiss Chinese fondu is called huǒguō – the Chinese characters (火鍋) literally translate to fire pot. And while the Swiss dish shares some elements of the original: cooking raw meat, seafood and vegetables in a hot soup or broth, it is distinctively different. The flavours of soy sauce, sesame and chilli are replaced with ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard.
And the choice of meats is not universal across Switzerland. A third of French-speaking Swiss eat fish while another third eat turkey or duck. Swiss german speakers on the other hand prefer pork according to the Swiss supermarket Coop. Only 10% of German-speakers eat fish and 5% turkey. However, regardless of the language spoken, the meats and vegetables all find their way into a boiling broth.