My dear friend E just returned from Switzerland with a bag full of wonderful Swiss sausages called Servelats and Rivella. (I wrote previously about Rivella here) Now, being Swiss and growing up in this wonderful country Servelats do have a special meaning for me and for a fact, to most Swiss. (Read below) There was absolutely no grilling party, BBQ, feast or any other event without Servelats! That 25 of these are consumed in average by each person in Switzerland during a year is a surprise to me; myself have eaten in the past two days five of them!! The Servelat is often referred to as the national sausage of Switzerland. Some 160 million Servelats weighing 27,000 metric tons are produced in Switzerland annually, which is equivalent to a consumption of 25 Servelats per person per year. Grilling Servelats over an open fire, with the ends cut open so that they expand like a butterfly’s wings, is a childhood memory for nearly every Swiss person and as a result, many Swiss are emotionally attached to the sausage. A New York Times report noted that “the possible demise of Servelas visibly upset the Swiss, a normally even-tempered people”. The Servelat production crisis has been covered closely by the Swiss media, and in a newspaper poll, 72 percent of those surveyed stated that the Servelat had to be saved. The Servelat crisis was also the subject of a parliamentary debate, in which State Councilor and president of the Swiss Meat Association Rolf Büttiker highlighted the national sausage’s social significance, calling it a “cult sausage” and “the worker’s steak”. Grilled Servelat with a creamy pork meat risotto and Appenzeller cheese (posting is here) is just another alternative dish, combining the best ingredients! Servelat, also spelled cervelas, servelat or zervelat, is a type of cooked sausage produced mainly in Switzerland and in parts of Germany. In its modern Swiss variety, it consists of a mixture of beef, bacon and pork rind[1] that is packed into zebu intestines, slightly smoked and then boiled. Name and History The sausage is called cervelas in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and cervelat in the German-speaking part. Both variants ultimately derive from cerebrum, the Latin word for brain, in reference to the brain that used to be part of the recipe. The term “Cervelat” is the older of the two. It was first recorded in 1552 by Rabelais, and is derived from zervelada, a Milanese dialect word. Zervelada or, in Italian, cervelato, referred to a “large, short sausage filled with meat and pork brains”. The contemporary recipe is derived from a late nineteenth-century reworking of the traditional recipe that was invented in Basel. Production and preparation Swiss Servelats are made of roughly equal parts of beef, pork, bacon, pork rind and ice, as well as spices, curing salt and cutter additives. The ingredients are very finely minced in a cutter, packed into cow intestines, smoked for an hour at 65 to 70 °C and then boiled at 75°C. Traditionally, Swiss cow intestines were used, but producers switched to Brazilian zebu intestines after the local materials became too rare and expensive. Servelats can be prepared in numerous ways. They can be eaten cooked, boiled, grilled or fried. They are also served raw, either as part of a salad or as a whole with bread and mustard.
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11 Responses to Servelat

  1. Philippe says:

    Wow ! Wie alt sind diese Cervelats ? Oder lagen diese ganz unten im Koffer ? Frische sehen viel, viel, viel besser aus ! En Guete Philippe

  2. chrisbliss says:

    Hi Bro!

    Das sind frische aber waren in vacuum verpackung, deswegen! Aber gut waren die auf jeden fall!

    Gruss, Chris

  3. FAITH MONARI says:

    third n fourth look great! would lyk 2 know how they taste….!!

  4. Reto says:


  5. chriesi says:

    You have a fantastic blog here! Greetings from Switzerland

  6. chrisbliss says:

    Thank you “Chriesi” for the nice comment! Checked out your Blog and you do a great job. I will check from time to time and perhaps will give me some ideas!

    Keep tuned, Regards from Dubai

  7. pixen says:’re killing me with Rivella! That’s the ONLY fizzy drink I would have. My favourite is Red Rivella. It’s so difficult to get them in Belgium – occasionally I saw Blue or Green and I don’t know why there’s no Red 🙁 Even the Mövenpick Ice-cream counters don’t even have them back in my hometown. Not forgetting Gruyère 🙁

  8. Rosa says:

    I love Cervelas! That’s normal, mind you, because I’m Swiss ;-P! Nice ways of serving those sausages!



  9. Belliflora says:

    this sausage is one of my favourites, very sweet. I used to make my best smile to the butcher to get one slice when I was a child !

  10. Rohti says:

    How did you get the Cervelat into the country? I thought we could not bring meat into the US.
    Yesm Rivella is the best. I wish we could get it here.

  11. chrisbliss says:

    Rothi, UAE is not in the USA! United Arab Emirates, not United Mistakes, sorry States!

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