The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Swiss chard. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What Swiss chard etiquette is

Swiss chard etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Swiss chard. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve Swiss chard to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat Swiss chard at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

serving swiss chards

What you should know about Swiss chard

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the beet family (Beta vulgaris). It is commonly grown for its leaves, which can be eaten cooked or raw.

Swiss chard leaves are large and dark green, with prominent white or colored stems that can range from red to yellow to pink. The leaves are slightly thick and have a crinkly texture. The flavor of Swiss chard is mild and slightly earthy.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat Swiss chard

1) How to store Swiss chard

Swiss chard should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of around 32-40°F (0-4°C). To store Swiss chard in the pantry, place the bunch in a jar with a little bit of water, cover it with a plastic bag, and keep it in a cool, dark place. In the fridge, Swiss chard can last for up to 5-7 days. To freeze Swiss chard, blanch it first for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. Frozen Swiss chard can last up to 6 months in the freezer.

Sliced or cooked Swiss chard can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days in an airtight container.

2) How to clean Swiss chard

To clean Swiss chard, rinse it thoroughly under cold water, then pat it dry with a paper towel. Be sure to remove any dirt or sand that may be stuck in the leaves. There are no significant risks associated with cleaning Swiss chard.

When Swiss chard turns bad, the leaves will start to wilt and turn brown or yellow. The stems may also become slimy or mushy.

3) How to prepare & cook Swiss chard

Swiss chard can be eaten raw or cooked. Common ways to cook Swiss chard include sautéing, steaming, boiling, or roasting. It is often used in soups, stews, or as a side dish.

Some popular dishes that feature Swiss chard include Swiss chard and potato gratin, Swiss chard and feta pie, Swiss chard and lentil soup, and Swiss chard and white bean salad.

Swiss chard can be used in salads and sandwiches, and can also be juiced or blended into smoothies. It is not commonly used to make jam or preserves.

4) How to serve & present Swiss chard

Swiss chard is appropriate for both formal and informal meals. You can be serve it at any time of day. You can serve it as a side dish, main course, appetizer, or even dessert.

It is best to serve Swiss chard at room temperature or slightly warm. Presented on a plate or in a bowl with regular serving utensils. Swiss chard does not require any specific serving tools.

You can accompany Swiss chard with a variety of seasonings and accompaniments, including garlic, lemon, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.

5) Food and wine to pair Swiss chard with

Swiss chard pairs well with a variety of vegetables and fruits, including tomatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, and cranberries. It is best to avoid it with acidic fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit.

Swiss chard goes well with cheese and dairy, including feta, goat cheese, ricotta, and Parmesan. It is best to avoid it with very strong or pungent cheeses.

Swiss chard pairs well with a variety of meats, including chicken, pork, beef, and lamb. It also goes well with fish, including salmon, trout, and halibut. It is best to avoid pairing it with very strong or oily fish, such as mackerel.

Swiss chard pairs well with a variety of beverages, including white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay. Rosé wine and sparkling wine are also great options. Red wines such as Pinot Noir and Beaujolais can also work, but heavier reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot may overpower the flavor of the Swiss chard. Beer, spirits, and dessert wines are not typically pairings with Swiss chard.

6) How to eat Swiss chard

Swiss chard is typically eaten with utensils such as a fork and knife. It is not polite to eat Swiss chard with your fingers. You should eat the whole Swiss chard, including the stems and leaves. However, make sure to remove any tough or fibrous parts of the stems before cooking.

Swiss chard etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common Swiss chard etiquette mistakes:

  • 7/10. Serving Swiss chard in a way that makes it difficult to eat. For example, leaving large, tough stems on the plate.
  • 7/10. Not removing tough or fibrous parts of the stems before cooking.
  • 7/10. Overcooking Swiss chard until it becomes mushy.

Additional information for properly serving Swiss chard

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly planning a menu.

Swiss chard is low in calories, with only 7 calories per 1 cup serving (raw). A single Swiss chard contains about 15-20 calories, depending on the size.

How to buy the best Swiss chard

A crucial factor in Swiss chard etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Swiss chard is available year-round, but the best season to buy it is from late spring to early fall when it is in peak season.

Choose the best

Swiss chard can be found fresh in most grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and health food stores. It is sometimes available canned or frozen, but fresh is the most common.

There are several popular varieties of Swiss chard, including Fordhook Giant, Bright Lights, and Rainbow Chard. Bright Lights and Rainbow Chard are prized for their colorful stems, which can range from bright pink to orange and yellow.

When buying Swiss chard, look for bright, crisp leaves with no signs of wilting or yellowing. The stems should be firm and not bend easily. Avoid Swiss chard with yellow or brown spots or slimy patches.

Alternatives to Swiss chard

Some common alternatives to Swiss chard include spinach, kale, collard greens, and beet greens. These leafy greens are similar in texture and flavor and can be used in many of the same recipes as Swiss chard.