Hi, I'm Andie.

I live near the Swiss Alps, in Bern, and I love not only melting cheese, but all kinds of Swiss cooking. 

En Guetä!

Elisabeth Fülscher

Elisabeth Fülscher

 
elisabeth fülscher
 

Elisabeth Fülscher was one of Switzerland's most revered home economists and teachers.

Born in 1895, she studied the domestic arts in Zürich and would go on to become an instructor at the same school. She got into cookbook writing through her mentor, the proprietor of the school, Anna Widmer. Widmer brought out her own book of recipes in 1923 and Fülscher was credited in the second edition of the book in 1928.  

Upon Widmer's death in 1930, Fülscher took over responsibility of the school and cookbook. She worked tirelessly on the book over the years, updating it frequently. In the 1940s, she included valuable information on rationing, and continuously revised the information on nutrition. The 1947 edition was illustrated by Fülscher's sister Johanna, whose beautiful black and white drawings accompany almost every recipe.

elisabeth fülscher

Each recipe is numbered, and Fülscher often refers to different numbered recipes to create a whole. To make a certain cake you would need one kind of base on one page, plus a different recipe for the filling on another page, and perhaps a third page has the frosting.

This style of cookbook does not suit everyone (my mother-in-law, for example, finds it annoying to always be flipping back and forth through the book), but I quite like the flexibility it gives. I tend to write out a whole recipe myself in a notebook anyway, rather than cooking directly from the cookbook, so it doesn't bother me to have to consult numerous pages.

And Fülscher always gives many different options, so a confident home cook can customize the recipes to their liking. For example, two plain chocolate cakes are given, einfach (easy) and sehr gut (very good), or there are variations on some of the cakes for Kranke (sick people) that take out some of the flour or sugar.

elisabeth fülscher

Although Fülscher was writing a guide for women in the home, she herself was an advocate for women's rights, supporting women's suffrage in Switzerland (where women notoriously could not vote federally until the 1970s), and she was an active member of a number of women's business organizations.

The last edition of Fülscher's cookbook came out in 1966, but it was reprinted until 2005, when a modern update was made and published in 2013, along with a website. It remains a trusted source for many classic Swiss recipes, as well as a bible of practical advice in the kitchen. Though just in German, you can find it in most big bookshops, or order it here.

A lovely interview from SRF about Fülscher can be found here (in German).

elisabeth fülscher

Recipes inspired by Elisabeth Fülscher

Swiss Cuts of Pork

Swiss Cuts of Pork

Stalden Creme

Stalden Creme