There are numerous sources that provide information about the Swiss culinary canon and, just as you would expect, they are meticulously catalogued and kept up to date. Before attempting a classic Swiss recipe, these are the resources that I usually consult.
A common Swiss German expression of agreement and acceptance is “Tip Top”. So what better name for the standard issue school cookbook than the pun: Tiptopf (Topf is German for pot).
The French version is called Croqu'Menu, and in Italian it’s Cosa Bolle in Pentola? (which directly translates as What Bubbles in the Pot? but basically means What's Cooking?). A teacher in Laax, deep in the Romansch-speaking part of Switzerland, has even made a version in the fourth national language called Mintgin Cuschin.
This book has been used in Swiss home economic classes since 1986. It provides information about processes and ingredients, and has many invaluable base recipes that can then be altered and adapted as needed.
I have my cousin Christoph's old Tip Topf and I smile every time I see his Megadeath doodle on the inside cover.
Initially I assumed that Betty Bossi was some sort of domestic celebrity—a Swiss version of Martha Stewart. The shelves of Swiss houses are lined with her cookbooks and one of the two big chain supermarkets, Coop, uses her name on everything from orange juice to ravioli. However, like her American namesake, Betty Crocker, Betty Bossi is a fictional character.
She was created by ad copywriter Emmi Creola-Maag for Unilever and was initially used to help sell margarine to the butter-friendly Swiss. This took form in 1956 as a magazine style leaflet called the Betty Bossi Post, which attempted to answer the eternal question ‘What Shall I Cook Today?’. French on one side and German on the other, the leaflet was so popular that it grew into a full magazine, and then a recipe book.
I don’t have statistics on its success rate, but judging from some of the information from today’s butter lobby, the struggle continues. Check out the information provided by BO Butter on what goes into butter vs margarine. Similar information is found on the Swiss Milk page.
In 1977 Betty Bossi split from Unilever and it became its own, separate publishing company. The brand continued to expand, publishing countless cookbooks and expanding into TV and radio, as well as recipe development and convenience foods.
Today, Betty Bossi is one of the dominant authorities on Swiss cuisine, especially for the home cook. When I ask my mother where her incomparable Mäilanderli recipe comes from (hoping that it was born from an passionate affair between my grandmother and a rogue French patissier) she shrugs and says, “probably Betty Bossi”.
For more information on the history of the brand, as well as great recipes and numerous superfluous kitchen gadgets, see here: http://www.bettybossi.ch/de (German and French)
The Kulinarisches Erbe der Schweiz / Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse/ Patrimonio Culinario Svizzero, or Culinary Heritage of Switzerland, is an astounding collection of information about traditional and historic Swiss food products. No detail is spared, and information is given on the history of each item, typical ingredients, typical preparation, when it is most often consumed, other names it is known by, related items, in which parts of the country it is produced, and about how much it sells for.
Learn more here: http://www.kulinarischeserbe.ch