Swiss food combines influences from German, French and North Italian cuisines. The food varies greatly from region to region with the language divisions constituting a rough boundary.
Switzerland was historically a country of farmers, so traditional Swiss dishes tend to be plain and made from simple ingredients, such as potatoes and cheese. Switzerland is well-known for the cuisine it produces, in particular cheese and chocolate. The country's food is diverse and seasonal. Traditional Swiss food is rich, in both flavor and calories, and rarely uses herbs and spices. Flavors and varieties vary among local towns.
Some famous dishes include Fondue, which consists of cheese (Emmentaler and natural Gruyère used separately or together, or with special local cheeses) melted in white wine flavored with garlic and lemon juice; Rösti, crunchy fried potato cakes; "Birchermüsli" consisting of fruits, porridge, milk, grains and nuts; Tarts made with all sorts of toppings, from sweet apple to onion and "spätzli" and "knöpfli" varieties of small dumplings found throughout the German-speaking areas of Switzerland.Breakfast typically includes bread, butter or margarine, marmalade or honey, maybe some cheese or cereals, plus cold milk, or hot chocolate, tea or coffee. Lunch may be as simple as a sandwich or a "birchermüesli" or it could be a complete meal. Depending on what people had for lunch, dinner can be a full main course or just some bread, cheese, maybe some dried meat or any other light meal.