Exhibition | 07.04. - 20.10.2019

À table! What does Switzerland eat?

Exhibition

“Show me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.” In a world where sharing pictures of your latest meal on social media is all the rage, the familiar adage takes on a whole new relevance. With endless information at our fingertips, knowing where food comes from, consuming seasonal produce and enquiring into the working conditions of everyone involved in its production have become major concerns. Decisions on what to eat are influenced by social, political and economic considerations. Food is not just about sustenance: it is also a nexus of cultural and medical practices and an expression of religious and ethical choices.

Taking its cue from the times in which we live, the exhibition “À table! What does Switzerland eat?” sets out to explore what’s bubbling away in the cooking pots of Homo helveticus. Swiss culinary culture is constantly changing, and this is reflected in the wide variety of its regional specialities. What is our food heritage? Where do its roots lie? Combining a scientific, historical and sometimes playful approach, not forgetting the gourmet side of the topic, this exhibition serves up a fascinating and diverse menu covering everything from table manners and the myriad ways of preparing and consuming food to the mechanisms behind famine and plenty, taboos and culinary trends.

In association with Slow Food and La Maison de la Rivière, the exhibition at the Swiss National Museum – Château de Prangins turns the spotlight on French-speaking Switzerland, with a new display and objects yet unseen. It also emphasizes the social ties created via family recipes and the knowledge shared through professional innovations, while local production, biodiversity and plant heritage will be examined season by season in the museum’s kitchen garden – the largest conservatory of forgotten vegetable varieties and rare fruits in Switzerland.

Events and guided tours

Château de Prangins – Swiss National Museum offers a full programme of guided tours and workshops for all ages in French. They are included in the price of admission and advance booking is not required.

More information on the french website

Publication

What Does Switzerland Eat? Was isst die Schweiz? Que mange la Suisse? Che cosa mangia la Svizzera?

Swiss national museum, Forum Schweizer Geschichte Schwyz, 2017
116 pages, illustrations
Price: CHF 21.90

Blog posts

Daniel Di Falco

26. April 2017

Revulsion, Morality and the Fork

On the History of Table Manners and Culture.

Continue

Antoine Acker

31. May 2019

In search of riches in the rainforest

In the 1970s the Volkswagen group launched a major agricultural project led by a Swiss citizen that resulted in bonded labour and rainforest deforestation on a massive scale.

Continue

Andrej Abplanalp

27. March 2019

Kitchen aids from Switzerland

French, Italian and Chinese cuisines are world-famous. The Swiss culinary arts are not, but Swiss inventions are found in kitchens across the globe, making life easier for cooks everywhere.

Continue
All blog posts

Media

À table! What does Switzerland eat?

Château de Prangins | 7.4.2019 - 20.10.2019
published on 4.4.2019

“Show me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.” In a world where sharing pictures of your latest meal on social media is all the rage, the familiar adage takes on a whole new relevance. With endless information at our fingertips, knowing where food comes from, consuming seasonal produce and enquiring into the working conditions of everyone involved in its production have become major concerns. Decisions on what to eat are influenced by social, political and economic considerations. Food is not just about sustenance: it is also a nexus of cultural and medical practices and an expression of religious and ethical choices.

Taking its cue from the times in which we live, the exhibition “À table! What does Switzerland eat?” sets out to explore what’s bubbling away in the cooking pots of Homo helveticus. Swiss culinary culture is constantly changing, and this is reflected in the wide variety of its regional specialities. What is our food heritage? Where do its roots lie? Combining a scientific, historical and sometimes playful approach, not forgetting the gourmet side of the topic, this exhibition serves up a fascinating and diverse menu covering everything from table manners and the myriad ways of preparing and consuming food to the mechanisms behind famine and plenty, taboos and culinary trends.

In association with Slow Food and La Maison de la Rivière, the exhibition at the Swiss National Museum – Château de Prangins turns the spotlight on French-speaking Switzerland, with a new display and objects yet unseen. It also emphasizes the social ties created via family recipes and the knowledge shared through professional innovations, while local production, biodiversity and plant heritage will be examined season by season in the museum’s kitchen garden – the largest conservatory of forgotten vegetable varieties and rare fruits in Switzerland.

Images

Woman repairing a net

Fishers on Lake Geneva | photo reportage, ASL, around 1944

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Toblerone box

around 1920, cardboard

Copyright: Bernisches Historisches Museum | Christine Moor

Hans Asper, Fish

1540, watercoloured drawing

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Sept-en-Gueule pear from Château de Prangins

photograph by Jeanine Jousson, 2011

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Medal, memento of the 1817 famine

around 1819, tin and card

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Picnic hamper

1900–1925, wicker

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

The butcher’s shop

of Madame Tricot alias Dominique Kähler Schweizer, Wil SG

Copyright: Daniel Ammann, Herisau

Picnic on ice at Saint-Moritz

photograph by Rudolf Zinggeler-Danioth, late 19th / early 20th century

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Tatiana Oberson

Head of Marketing, Communication & Fundraising

Château de Prangins Château de Prangins +41 22 994 88 68 tatiana.oberson@museenational.ch