Wednesday, April 15, 2009
As I may have mentioned before, I'm a chunk Swiss. My family came from Unterseen in the canton of Bern to Olney, Illinois in the mid 1800s. I don't know much about Swiss culture and the only thing that has been passed down (that I know of) is the name of my Swiss ancestor, Susannah. I have a new favorite website though and it is a real must for anyone interested in anything Swiss. Swiss Roots has anything and everything about Switzerland past and present, even a genealogy section. The "Heritage" tab of the website takes you to not only the genealogy section but also a section on Swiss history, emigration to the US and famous Swiss Americans as well as a culture tab. The thing I liked most about the genealogy section was the great Swiss (German)/English genealogy vocabulary translator which includes terms like "geboren" (born) and "beerdigt" (buried). The genealogy section also offers some great articles about Swiss genealogy and places that are definitely worth reading. The section I liked the most was the culture area which included a timeline of Swiss to US emigration, folk art and a calendar of Swiss/German holidays. I know I'm looking forward to celebrating August 1 (Switzerland's 4th of July) and I wonder if my ancestors ever participated in the Bern Onion Market in November. Apparently this coming Monday, the 20th, is the Swiss equivalent of Groundhog Day, who would have thought? Of particular excitement to me was the Swiss recipes section. Unfortunately as a vegetarian I won't be trying the many meat dishes. I was surprised to learn just how popular apples are in Swiss cuisine. I know here in the US (at least in my family) apples are a desert dish but they appear as an ingredient in many Swiss savory dishes (along with onions and potatoes). I am excited to make Emmental Apple Roesti, Fotzel, and Aelplermagaronen. I wonder how many of the dished listed my ancestors made? If you are Swiss, interested in anything Swiss (or German) the site is definitely worth checking out.