Friday is Wähen day.
Mandarin Wähe (Image source: Volg)
Most Swiss families had Wähen once a week. And they are available in practically every Swiss bakery at least once a week, on Friday.
A Wähe is a sweet or salty pastry that is baked in a flat, round black tray. The base consists of a simple dough with a rim. If the Wähe is topped with fruit, it is poured with milk or cream, flour, eggs and sugar. In the case of salty Wähe made from vegetables or cheese, the ingredients are mixed directly with the eggs and the liquid. At home, Wähen are usually served whole and only sliced at the table. In the bakeries and at the counters of the major distributors, Wähen are offered in pieces of the same size.
Wähen are already described as flatbreads or cakes in 1556. They are a by-product of the rural home bread bakery. Remnants of dough were rolled out and topped with what was currently in stock. Wähen were traditionally baked at home until, before the Second World War, the trade press called on the bakery and confectionery trade to compete against the housewives' domain of Wähen baking with equally good and inexpensive products. A Wähen meal was considered a full meal. Today, sweet flans are also eaten with dessert or in the afternoon as an afternoon snack.
But why did you typically eat Wähen on Friday?
There is a religious reason for this. In the Christian tradition, every Friday is a day of remembrance of Good Friday, the anniversary of Jesus' death. In remembrance of this, people fasted on Friday. In Christianity, fasting is defined as not to eat meat. And so Friday became fish day everywhere in the Christian regions. Since most people couldn't afford fish and classic Wähen are vegetarian, they became a Friday fasting dish.