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Port of Call: Celebrating the Culture of Basel, Switzerland!

Port of Call: Celebrating the Culture of Basel, Switzerland!

Jun. 11th, 2024

Each month, the affiliated communities who participate in the Port of Call program will help their residents explore the culture of a different city or country through food, games, and activities. This month, the theme is Basel, Switzerland!

Let’s take a look at the city of Basel and what makes it a great place for the residents to explore the culture from the comfort of their own homes!

About Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland has existed ever since Celtic times. There are roughly 190,000 inhabitants, and the native language is German. The climate of Basel is warmer than other parts of Switzerland.1

Things to Do in Basel, Switzerland

Boat Trips

One popular tourist attraction in Switzerland is boat trips across the Rhine River. These boat trips will allow you to sightsee many of Basel’s landmarks and give you breathtaking views of the Old Town houses. Some of the boat tours will even serve food or be tied into your hotel stay!


There are over 40 museums located in Basel, Switzerland, with plenty of topics that will interest anyone of all ages! Some of the museums include Kunstmuseum Basel (an art museum), Pharmaziemuseum Universitat Basel (a pharmacy museum), Pharmaziemuseum Universitat Basel (a history museum), and Naturhistorisches Museum Basel (natural history museum).2

Visit Old Town

Old Town in Basel is filled with over 200 fountains, many alleyways, and historic sites to explore. The cathedral, which is over 800 years old, invites visitors to climb its 250 stairs to the top of the towers. The Pfalz, which is the terrace behind the Cathedral, offers beautiful views of the mountains and architecture. Old Town also contains the town hall, the marketplace, and the city gates.3

Go Cycling

In Basel, you can rent a bike to get around town. There are plenty of bike trails that you can take around the city to sightsee. Biking can also be a great change of pace and can help you get some exercise while in Switzerland.4

Castles and Fortresses

Switzerland is home to many beautiful historic castles and fortresses. One of the castles you can visit is the Bottminigen castle, an early baroque style castle.5 Another castle that you can visit is the Farnsburg castle, which was built in 1330 by the Lords of Thierstein.6

The Food of Basel, Switzerland

Switzerland is home to delicious food that celebrates many cultures, including Germany, France, and northern Italy. Many foods that are part of the Swiss diet include cheese, sausages, bread, cold cuts, cakes, wine, and chocolates. Ingredients such as cheese, potatoes, apples, and oats are commonly used throughout Swiss cooking.7


Switzerland is famous for its attention to creating mouth-watering chocolates. Interestingly, chocolate started out as a drink in the 19th century until the Industrial Revolution changed it to a solid form for convenience. In 1876, Daniel Peter created the first milk and mixed chocolate products, helping to popularize chocolate as we know it today.8


Swiss cheese has existed since the year 1300, and in the 1800s, cheese dairies were built and used to produce it in bigger quantities. The dairy farms choose what to feed their cows to give Swiss cheese its classic flavor. Swiss cheese has a rich and classic texture, as the shape of it will have holes in it.9

Our Menu

Each month, the participating dietary teams will serve food based on the city or country that the Life Enrichment team is celebrating. Here is the planned menu for Basel, Switzerland. Please know that the final menu and ingredients are subject to change. The quantities are for the size of the communities, but you can refine the portions for your own family.

Pear, swiss cheese and raspberry salad

  • 2 Sliced or Diced Canned Pears
  • 2 Bags of Romaine Lettuce Mix
  • 4 Cups of Dried Cranberries
  • 4 Cups of Shredded Swiss Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 TBSP of Salt
  • 1 TBSP of Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 TBSP of Chopped Garlic
  • 4 TBSP of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Cups of Chopped Red Onion


  1. Drain the cans of pears completely and save the syrup/juice in a container to the side.
  2. Combine the chopped romaine, pear dice or sliced, cranberries and shredded swiss cheese in a large mixing bowl. Refrigerate covered.
  3. In a blender or a robot coupe, combine 2 cups of pear syrup, oil, mustard, garlic, red wine vinegar, red onion and seasoning.                             
  4. Then emulsify on high speed until a creamy consistency. Toss in the salad mix in dressing 1 hour before serving.

Grilled Swiss Cheese and Beef Sandwich with Cheesy Rigatoni

  • 100 EA Sliced Buttered and Toasted Sourdough Sliced Bread
  • 10 lbs of Thinly Sliced Roast Beef
  • 50 EA of .75 oz Sliced Swiss Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Melted Butter
  • 2 Cups of Mayonnaise


  1. Spread the mayo on both slices of bread, add 3 oz of meat, then 1 slice of cheese. Lay on the sheet pan over
  2. Brush other 2 sides of sourdough bread with melted butter.
  3. On the parchment paper, cover it with foil, then bake in 350 f oven for 10 minutes. Then another 6 minutes uncovered.
  4. Remove from the oven then cut diagonally. Serve warm.

 Cheesy Rigatoni

  • 12 lbs Chilled Cooked Rigatoni
  • 5 Cups of Swiss Cheese
  • 8 Cups of Heavy Cream
  • 1 TBSP of Salt
  • 1 TBSP of Ground Black Pepper
  • 5 TBSP of Chopped Parsley
  • 3 Cups of Crispy Fried Onions


  1. Cook the rigatoni in boiling water and salt for 6 to 7 minutes. Then, shock with iced water and drain.
  2. On a sauce pan, combine the cream, cheese, and seasoning. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while stirring until it is a slight thick consistency. Add the parsley, then combine with the rigatoni and mix well into a baking pan.
  3. Bake at a 350f oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with fried onions.

Swiss Peach Jalousien

  • 12 15x10 Sheets of Pastry Puff Dough
  • 3 EA Peach Wedges #10 Can
  • 1 Cup of Powder Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Liquid Egg
  • 1 Cup of Melted Butter


  1. Drain the peaches and transfer the liquid to a sauce pan. Reduce on low heat to half.
  2. Cut the pastry puff dough into 3x5 rectangles and brush with egg liquid. Put 5 pieces of peach wedges in the center, then cut 1/2" pastry puff strip and surround the peaches creating a frame. Brush with butter, then bake at a 375f oven for 25 minutes or until a crispy golden-brown color is reached. Remove from oven.
  3. Brush with apricot with peach syrup reduction, sprinkle powdered sugar and serve.

Activities Based on Basel, Switzerland

The participating Life Enrichment departments will plan games and activities based on the Basel, Switzerland. Here are some of the activities that the talented teams are planning! Please note that activities are subject to change and that this list is not final.

Rocky Mount Health and Rehabilitation

Rocky Mount’s Life Enrichment team plans on hosting a Swiss chocolate tasting and a trivia night.

Bellevue Care Center

The Bellevue Life Enrichment team wants to host fun activities such as chocolate tastings and a Swiss cheese and cracker day. They also hope to make a presentation about Basel, Switzerland to educate the residents about the culture of this beautiful city.

Broomall Manor

The Broomall team plans to host a movie night where the residents will watch Gold Finger. The residents will also get the chance to paint some scenic areas of Switzerland. They also have some coloring pages based on Switzerland along with plans for a chocolate tasting.

Grand Rapids Care Center

Grand Rapids Care Center plans to host a chocolate and cheese tasting for the residents.

Saber Healthcare

Saber Healthcare is an organization that provides consulting services to more than 130 buildings across the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, and Delaware. To learn more about our company and services, click here.

Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.