The masters of superior chocolate
Worldwide, Swiss chocolate enjoys a remarkable reputation. This may seem strange to some, since Switzerland doesn’t have its own cocoa production. It’s a small alpine country, right in the heart of Europe, with numerous beautiful lakes, mountains and villages. Nevertheless, in the 19th century, Swiss chocolate pioneers made a number of ground-braking inventions.
The first one was Francois-Louis Cailler, who founded the oldest Swiss chocolate brand still in existence – in 1819! With one of the fist mechanized chocolate production facilities, he put down a foundation for some of the best chocolate brands today.
Swiss chocolate manufacturers blend tradition with innovation
There are a couple different factors that helped Switzerland’s success story. Inventive spirit and a great focus on quality control are two of the main ones. Hence, the Swiss chocolate industry follows comprehensive quality standards. Some of the best chocolate makers start off by selecting the highest quality raw ingredients, like cocoa.
Cocoa comes from the cacao bean, the fruit of the cacao tree. It grows in the tropics and is harvested twice a year. Once the beans are harvested, they are left to ferment and dry, before they are shipped all over the world.
The Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa
In June 2017, the Swiss launched a platform for Sustainable Cocoa production. The aim of the platform is to improve the living and working conditions of cocoa producers. Most importantly, this initiative tackles crucial problems such as child labor and poor working conditions in cocoa-producing companies. By eliminating these issues, the final product becomes more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
Through this process, Swiss chocolate manufacturers strengthen ties with producers in other countries, all while making the final product – Swiss chocolate – taste even better.
Making-of the world’s best chocolate
Many chocolate pioneers made important contributions to the modern history of chocolate, but one of the most innovative ones was the conching process. In 1879, Rodolphe Lindt left his factory without finishing his work. In a hurry, he didn’t turn off the machines and they ran for a whole weekend. What he found on Monday morning shocked him. A shiny, deliciously smelling, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate mass. Turns out, the process of stirring for days was Rodolphe’s revolutionary discovery. Today, we know it as the conching process.
Despite today’s industrial age, Swiss producers still follow the basic stages or the original craft. First of all, cocoa beans are the most important raw material for making chocolate. After a detailed check of the beans, our chocolate manufacturers crush, roast and ground them, turning them into a paste. Secondly, they mix the paste with sugar and additional cocoa butter. This is the base for a traditional plain chocolate. By adding powdered or condensed milk, they then create a basic mixture for milk chocolate. After the initial mixing, the conching comes in. Finally, the chocolate mixture is ready to be filled, poured and otherwise transformed into the most amazing chocolate specialties.
Home of the best chocolate brands
Switzerland has the world’s highest per capita rate of chocolate consumption. While the Swiss produce about 150,000 tons of chocolate per year, ironically, the most Swiss chocolate is consumed by the Swiss themselves. Let’s be honest, the Swiss know what’s good for them. In just one small piece of this heavenly food there are large quantities of many valuable substances. Vitamins, minerals, protein, carbs; all natural, energy providing elements. Not only that, but consuming chocolate can reduce your blood pressure, decrease cholesterol, improve brainpower and generally improve your mood.
It’s safe to say that Switzerland is home to some of the world’s most renowned chocolate brands. Lindt, Cailler, Toblerone, Laederach and Frey, to name a few. All of these brands have one thing in common: a passion for innovation and a great love of chocolate. From the cacao bean to the end product, they focus on high quality and impeccable taste. For all of these reasons, we can safely say that the Swiss are true masters of superior chocolate.
To find the newest, most exclusive chocolate products from Switzerland, look through our premium selection:
- Swiss Dream Treasure Chest