Switzerland is synonymous with Cheese and Chocolate although it is also erroneously associated with cuckoo clocks. That distinction should really lie with Austria!
With the beautiful alpine pastures and all the milk produced by the Swiss cows the link with cheese is quite understandable. But chocolate? With it’s exotic ingredients and the cocoa beans and raw sugar sourced from the other side of the world… How did the Swiss achieve such a reputation in this field?
Once again it’s a great example of the Swiss producing high quality end products, their perfection and precision as well as persistence in building a solid reputation over a long period of time. Add to that a couple of key Swiss innovations, such as the invention of the conch machine (which gives chocolate that creamy, velvety texture which melts in the mouth) and the process to add milk to chocolate – both discovered by early Swiss chocolate entrepreneurs – and you get the idea that the Swiss are passionate about chocolate.
Highest Consumption of Chocolate in the World
Who do you think eats the most chocolate in the world? Yes, you’ve got it – the Swiss! They eat a whopping 20 lbs per person per year, followed by the Germans, the Irish and then the Brits.
There are so many well known names in the Chocolate industry and many originate in Switzerland – Cailler, Sprungli, Lindt, Suchard, Teuscher, Aeschbach and many more. The Swiss chocolate industry really started way back in the 1700s and Cailler chocolates is still the longest standing company having been in business for over 100 years.
In Zurich there are some great chocolate shops, all offering their own in-house specialities. There are the “Lotti’s Best” chocolates at Honold with flakes of nougat, flour du sel and tonka bean enrobed in dark chocolate with edible gold dust. Teuscher’s speciality is the “Champagne Truffe” using the traditional family recipe which requires real Dom Perignon champagne. Aeschbach’s “Chriese Bluete” are a delightful layering of chocolate, chocolate cream and cherry liquor soaked sponge – all generously covered in either dark or milk chocolate.
In the coming weeks and months we will explore more of the chocolate side of Zurich – so stay tuned for more articles.