Residence: Pittsburg, PA
Date of Performance/Collection: April 18, 2008
Primary Language: English
The swiss potato pancake is called a roesti(or replace “oe” with o and the two dots above it).
Swiss potato cake: a roesti is just as common in Switzerland as frenchfries. You can’t get them at McDonald’s or anything, but a very common meal is Bratwurst, roesti, and these tasty tasty caramelized onions. I first had a roesti at my grandparents house, and the wonderfully amazing thing about them is that they are about 12 inches in diameter and maybe 1.5 inches thick. In order to flip one, you literally have to throw it in the air. It’s almost a rite of passage in our family to flip a roest; my grandfather taught my father(his son-in-law, so there’s a bit of switch in culture there), and then my dad taught both my brothers. I have yet to successfully flip a roesti; I’ve dropped one entirely and also had one smush back into the pan because it didn’t have enough rotation. One day I’ll get it – Kate
From what Kate said, it sounds as though the cake is not only a common traditional food, but also acts as a rite of passage. It is hard to tell who in the family is typically in charge of making the dish. It could be that because it is such a common food, that at some point everyone learns to make it.