And you thought they just ate fondue

I was sitting in the john today with little more that some toilet paper and a hardcopy version of today’s Joongang Ilbo (which doubles as toilet paper on some occasions) when I came across this piece — a piece seemingly written with the Marmot’s Hole in mind — which has been partially translated for you by Marmot Translating Services, Inc.:

Take a freshly slaughtered dog (mostly puppies), and cure it in salt or herbs for about two weeks. After this, smoke-dry the meat and hang it on the wall. Enjoy as jerky, or if you dislike that, you can also preserve it for a long time by making it into sausages.

This is not some newly created dish from some back-ally dog-meat soup restaurant in Seoul. It is a handed-down recipe for dog meat cuisine from the Swiss mountain town of Appenzell. On the slopes of the Swiss Alps, there exists a long tradition of taking dogs and turning them into preserved foods such as jerky and sausages. It’s a rare custom hard to see in the wider Western world outside of Swiss mountain regions. The Swiss tradition of consuming dog and cat meat has recently run into a strong opposition movement from European animal protection activists.

Anyway, the rest of the piece isn’t all that exciting, although it did mention that in Switzerland, the sale and trade of dog meat is illegal, but the personal consumption of dog meat at home is not. I did like how the report ended, however:

In 2001, the Times (UK) said “The Swiss have been eating dog-meat jerky,” and “Europeans have no right to tell Koreans not to eat dog.”


BTW, while I was trying to find the proper Romanized spelling for the Swiss town mentioned in the beginning of the piece, I ran into this site — — which concerns itself with, well, canine cuisine. There, you can find an English-language piece on this most admirable (and tasty!) of Swiss traditions:

According to the “Rheintaler Bote”, 21. Nov. ?€™96 a weekly newspaper of the Rheinvalley in Eastern Switzerland, there are still people who eat dogs regularly.

In Switzerland, unlike in other countries, the personal consumption of domestic animals is not forbidden, only the trade in such animals is not allowed. The production of lard, known for its “health benefits” in case of rheumatism is allowed as long as it is not done for profit.

In an interview a farmer told the journalist that “meat from dogs is the healthiest of all. It has shorter fibres than cow meat, has no hormones like veal, no antibiotics like pork”.

A restaurant owner in Widnau, my little hometown confessed his dog eating habits and told the reporter that he was enthusiastic about meat from dogs as well as its lard. Only some days ago he had given dog lard to the policeman for his two children and their cough had been cured at once.

Some time ago the German RTL TV team reported about the dog eating tradition in St. Gallen and Appenzell, two rural Cantons of Eastern Switzerland. The reactions were shocking. Letters of protest were written from different countries to the regional and federal governments. A petition was signed by 7000 people and handed to the commission of the Cantons. It was rejected and not passed on to the Federal Council. The reason? It would not be the duty of the state to watch over the eating habits of its citizens.

  • Kevin Kim

    This rocks.

    I’ve been to Appenzell. The canton gave women the right to vote only in the late 80s/early 90s. They still hold town referendums in which the men of the town assemble in the town square, dressed in old-style battle regalia–including swords– and vote either by raising their hands or raising their swords. Amazing stuff.


  • ari(w)rong

    Yeah but unless the Swiss beat their dogs and torture them to death (the crueler the better) to get those tasty adrenaline juices flowing … I ain’t interested.

  • The Yangban (Andy)

    Yo Marmot,

    On another note, one way to reduce trolling on your comments section is to required that they include their email address on their posts.

  • john

    I think this revelation explains a lot of my recent disgust towards certain europeans!! thanks!!

    TITLE: Swiss Cuisine
    BLOG NAME: Interested-Participant
    In the interest of cross-cultural awareness, here’s a provocative story from Europe. According to the Rheintaler Bote, a weekly newspaper in Switzerland, human consumption of domestic animals, like dogs, is acceptable, however, sale or trade of such an…

    TITLE: Don’t let these puppies go to a Chinese restaurant!
    BLOG NAME: Fried Man
    The real cultural insensitivity is that of people who think that it is bad that dogs are an important part of Chinese cuisine and some Chinese people have accents.

  • railwaycharm

    Hot Dog! Who would of thought? The St Bernard brings you a barrel of brandy and you make jerky out of him. Ungrateful bastards.

  • arirang

    I can see by your name ari(w)rong instead correct arirang about your attitude toward Korea in general. Be happy my troll friend as of 2007 Korea no longer practice that method, so do get interested in Swiss eating habits.