Hardly any other food is as strongly associated with Switzerland as chocolate. Original Swiss chocolate stands for incomparable taste and a feeling of pleasure. Whether it’s a praline with your coffee or a whole bar – chocolate is one of the most popular treats. On Chocolate Day, we celebrate this sweet temptation in particular and take a look at why not only the Swiss love their chocolate.
- Swiss chocolate – a specialty that has established itself
- Cocoa and milk – a delightful combination
- Not only the Swiss love their chocolate
- Chocolate as an experience for all senses – our tips
- My, your, our bedtime sweet – an interview with „Myswisschocolate“
Swiss chocolate – a specialty that has established itself
A firm crunch without crumbs, a round, full aroma, and then comes the best part: the butter-soft melting on the palate. There are things difficult to copy. French champagne, for example, Spanish Serrano ham – and Swiss chocolate. But the Swiss were rather late movers in the chocolate market, long after the French, Italians and English. They didn’t even have colonies from which they could have obtained crucial raw materials such as cocoa beans and sugar cheaply. On the other hand, they were characterised by other, apparently unrivalled qualities: a strong sense of quality, a willingness to experiment, a certain persistence – and a natural sweet tooth. It is not least thanks to these traits that two inventions were made which made Swiss chocolate world-famous at the end of the 19th century.
Cocoa and milk – a delightful combination
After long, tough experiments, Daniel Peter succeeded in combining milk and chocolate in Vevey. In 1875 it was finally born – Swiss milk chocolate. Since then it has been inseparably linked with chocolate: the image of the shepherd with happy cows in front of a blooming Alpine panorama. It was also in the 1870s that Rodolphe Lindt invented the conching machine in Zurich, which stirred the chocolate mass according to a sophisticated recipe until all unpleasant flavours evaporated and an inimitable melting point was achieved. This method was and is not for the impatient: even today, fine chocolates are still conched for up to 100 hours. However, how often one stirs and how much the mass may be heated in the process is one of the best-kept secrets of every Swiss chocolate manufacturer – from Cailler to Suchard and Tobler.
Not only the Swiss love their chocolate
As a strictly protected product and national figurehead, Swiss chocolate – a ready-made conched chocolate made entirely in Switzerland from cocoa beans, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar and possibly milk – is now appreciated from China to Saudi Arabia. However, the Swiss do not like to eat their “Schoggi” themselves: With an annual per capita consumption of just over ten kilos of chocolate – equivalent to 50 200-gram bars – the Swiss are just behind the Germans in their appetite for chocolate, which is around 11 kilos. This suggests that people “schnabuliärät” (eat sweets) here and there in addition to the bedtime sweets, or as they say in Switzerland: “Bettmümpfeli”. Connoisseurs claim, however, that the sweet chocolate dream from the Alps, enjoyed just before falling asleep, reliably prevents any nightmare.
Chocolate as an experience for all senses – our tips
Would you like to experience Swiss chocolate in a unique way? Then we have a few tips for you:
- Take the chocolate train to the land of chocolate: from Montreux to the Gruyère region in Broc, where the fine Cailler chocolate comes from – with tasting, of course: www.goldenpass.ch/goldenpass_schokoladenzug
- Secret shopping tips: If you are in Zurich, you should definitely try Teuscher’s “Truffes”: www.teuscher.com. Blondel in Lausanne’s old town is also a must for friends of Swiss chocolate: www.chocolatsblondel.ch.
- Your very own personal chocolate: Sven Beichler and Christian Philippi from “My Swiss Chocolate” produce it according to individual wishes: www.myswisschocolate.ch
My, your, our bedtime sweet – an interview with „Myswisschocolate“
If you have chosen your bed with great style and care, you shouldn’t be fobbed off with a supermarket tablet for your bedtime treat. You don’t need to. Because the tailor-made goodnight chocolate is just a mouse click away. With their company “Myswisschocolate”, Sven Beichler and Christian Philippi have merged “Schoggi” (Chocolate), “Swissness” and customisation in a delicious way. But what makes the sweetest dreams? Questions to Sven Beichler, co-founder of Myswisschocolate.
With you, the customer is not only allowed to decide on the ingredients, but also on the logo. There is a chocolate blog and even a chocolate subscription. Are you the modernisers of the good old chocolate bar?
Definitely (laughs)! Our production concept is the so-called “mass customisation”, i.e. individualisation because the trend is that people don’t want anything off the shelf anymore. If individualised chocolate, then from Switzerland, of course. What makes us special is that we combine the tradition of Swiss chocolate art with modern technologies and tools such as social media or Facebook. Intensive communication takes place in the community and we receive a lot of input: taste, ingredients, the shipping methods – all of this has been co-determined by the customers.
Keyword Betthupferl. What should it be like to make a maximum impression on the pillow of your loved one?
When it comes to taste, it naturally depends on whether it is a woman or a man. Soft things are nice, e.g. rose petals, soft colours, not too spicy, rather mild ingredients, which are also harmonious in appearance. We also offer the right colour for the duvet cover. Then you don’t need to sprinkle roses on the bed, because they are already on the chocolate and you can even eat them.
Your personal favourite for the chocolate before bedtime?
White chocolate with peanut butter and cranberries, which is very soft and gently melting. My business partner Christian Philippi prefers cranberries with physalis on whole milk chocolate. It depends a little bit on the mood, of course: If you don’t want it to be too sweet, choose a salty note, e.g. curry cashews on whole milk or dark chocolate with sea salt and orange flavour. But for sleeping I would rather recommend something soft, definitely not chilli (laughs).