The World's Largest Rösti Used Nearly 3,000 Pounds Of Potatoes

In 1994, the largest-ever potato rösti was made in the city of Thun, Switzerland, measuring three square meters, or a little over 32 square feet, per Euro News. After 28 years, that record was shattered by the Swiss Farmer's Union (SFU), which fried up a rösti that measured a whopping 13 square meters, or almost 140 square feet. In September 2022, as a celebration of the organization's 125th anniversary, the farmer's union set up their enormous, cross-shaped griddle (symbolizing the Swiss flag) in Switzerland's capital of Bern, and fried up 1,350 kilos of shredded potatoes, or nearly 3,000 pounds.

Farmers' unions from all over the world including the SFU were established to recognize the important role that farmers play in a functioning society and to ensure fair prices of goods, proper agricultural practices, and more, per National Farmers Union and Schweizer Bauernverband. SFU president Markus Ritter told Euro News that the planning of the rösti took over a year and was about much more than breaking a record, but it was also a means of bringing the country together.

Potatoes for peace

According to Culture Trip, Switzerland never developed an official language of its own. Rather four languages are spoken throughout the country's 26 regions. Historically, there has been a rift between German-speaking and French-speaking Swiss. So this year as a symbol of unification, the SFU utilized the potatoes from all 26 regions (Euro News). The huge rösti was served to the delighted Swiss citizens who showed up to watch the historical culinary feat.

A traditional Swiss dish, rösti was originally a dish made for farmers' breakfasts before a long day of work. According to Taste Atlas, potatoes were grated, fried until crispy, and served in wedges. Rösti may resemble potato pancakes and hash browns, but, according to Serious Eats, the difference is that rösti utilizes pre-cooked potatoes, not raw. The potato isn't grated until after it's boiled and cooled. Today, the Swiss dish is just as symbolic of its mother country as the Matterhorn and fondue. Swiss blog Helvetic Kitchen suggests using a waxier potato and clarified butter for authentic results, but bacon, cheese, and onion act as scrumptious accompaniments as well.