The Swiss Roll is oddly named because it has nothing in particular to do with the Swiss, per se. But the name persists, as if it imparts some class to the basic jelly roll cake. Even the French call it a “Roulade Suisse,” which is odd, because the French only usually evoke another nation’s name when referring to venereal diseases or compromising sexual encounters and the like.
The basic Swiss (or Jelly) Roll consists of a light Genoise sponge cake which is rolled while hot and left to cool. It is then unrolled, and a filling (cream, butter cream or jam) is spread upon it. This is then rolled up again, creating a whimsical spiral when sliced.
It is highly popular all over the world, with many local varieties making use of ingredients and flavors familiar to their customers, while retaining the basic cake-and-filling formula.
The Sicilians, however, have never taken to this confection. They prefer their Swiss Roll to be made of meat and cheese. Because they are hardcore.
All-Time Favorite Beef Recipes, Better Homes and Gardens, 1977