The symbolic understanding of milk in Swiss gastronomy

  • Perrine Leroy
  • Peter Varga
Keywords: dairy products, Switzerland, symbolism


In the 21st century, in a context where milk and dairy products are at the centre of many debates, this article wonders how doubts about these products are perceived in a gastronomic context where they are particularly appreciated and used. This article focuses on a Swiss context, since milk and dairy products are an integral part of Swiss culture. The article explores the history of milk in the Western world and highlights the fact that milk has had an ambiguous position throughout the centuries. Some studies make it possible to question the consumption of such products, while in Switzerland there is no doubt that they are products strongly rooted in the country’s heritage. Eighteen interviews with gastronomic chefs were conducted to develop answers to the questions raised by the potential questioning of milk and dairy products in Swiss gastronomy. The results show that the reflections about dairy do not impact the gastronomic field, and that chefs are inclined to keep these products, as long as moderate use is made of them. In a Swiss context, the results show that milk and dairy products are untouchable and that it is important to defend the cultural heritage of the country.

Keywords: dairy products, Switzerland, symbolism


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2415-5152
print ISSN: 2224-3534