Travel Story Bircher bliss what doc ordered

Photo of Leyanne Baillie

LEYANNE BAILLIE finds more than Swiss cheese, chocolate

My go-to breakfast in any hotel is a bowl of bircher muesli, so one of my first thoughts when travelling to Switzerland is that I can’t wait to taste my favourite brekkie in its original setting.

In the early 20 century, Swiss physician Dr Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner experimented with the effects of raw food on the body and was so convinced of the health benefits he devised a mixture of apple, nuts and oats mixed with water, lemon juice and condensed milk to be served before each meal at his health clinic in Zurich.

Eating the dish may have shown positive results because he also prescribed plenty of fresh air and exercise alongside his apfeldiatspeise (apple diet meal).

I get my first taste of authentic bircher in a business-class seat aboard my Swiss Air flight to Zurich.

Creamy and sharp with the tang of apple, served with berry compote, it’s a pretty good start.

For the next 11 days, from hotels in the Bernese Alps, to Lucerne and Zurich, I tuck into the oat concoction each morning and although texture, flavours and topping options vary, it is a consistently delicious way to start the day.

Read the full story, and more, here.

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