With 9 kg of chocolate consumed per capita every year, Switzerland is the wonderland of sweet taste buds.
The country is renowned worldwide for producing the finest chocolate a palate can desire. But before discovering the best Swiss chocolate you can buy, it’s important to answer a question: why did Switzerland even become famous for chocolate?
Many of you might not know that Switzerland was once the crib of the most important inventions in chocolate history.
The Conching Machine
If chocolate feels smooth and creamy in our mouths, we owe it to Swiss chocolatier Rodolphe Lindt who invented the conching machine. In an afternoon of 1879, he accidentally left a mixer containing chocolate running through the weekend. On Monday morning, he woke up to realize that this long stirring changed the chocolate’s flavor and texture for the better. Chocolate could finally leave behind a gritty texture for a smoother mouthfeel. Only a few months later, another revolutionary invention occurred in the country.
The Invention of Milk Chocolate
Daniel Peter was a Swiss chocolatier and neighbor to Henri Nestlé, a German-Swiss confectioner who invented milk powder in 1867. Daniel had the idea to blend Henri’s milk powder with cocoa nibs and sugar. The result? The first ever milk chocolate bar.
Home to the biggest chocolate inventions in history, it’s no wonder that throughout the centuries Switzerland built and carried on a solid reputation as the land of the best chocolate in the world. But do these inventions have anything to do with Swiss chocolate as we know it today?
Is Swiss chocolate worth it today?
Swiss chocolate isn’t a guarantee of quality in itself only because it was made in Switzerland (just like Belgian chocolate). Fine flavor cacao, expertise in the art of chocolate making and high-quality ingredients are some of the crucial factors that create quality chocolate. Unfortunately, we can’t possibly assume that every professional in the country is equally committed to quality. There are some chocolatiers in Switzerland that use bulk chocolate couverture, industrial machines and cheap ingredients, yet charge you a premium price just because they make “Swiss chocolate”. Moreover, what once were patented and secreted inventions are now common methods and tools available all over the world. Therefore sure, some Swiss chocolate will be worth buying, while other not so much.
What are the Swiss chocolate brands worth buying?
If you are looking for the best chocolate that Switzerland produces, you’d better stop looking at the most famous brands like Lindt & Sprüngli, Nestlè, Maison Cailler or Toblerone. Manufactured on a large scale, with untraceable cacao, enriched with unnecessary ingredients and for a low price, this kind of chocolate won’t satisfy your fine palate. Instead, you should give a chance to the smaller Swiss chocolate makers that truly have it all and are changing the industry for the better.
Here is the unexpected best Swiss chocolate you can buy:
With beautifully designed chocolate bars, La Flor aims to turn first-class cacao beans into single-origin chocolate meant to be mindfully savored. Yuta bags of cacao from Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador arrive at their factory in Zurich to be processed with artisan methods and only a handful of machines. The goal is to preserve all the natural flavors of each cacao origin.
Kay is the craft chocolate maker in charge of leading the Taucherli team towards the most innovative and award-winning chocolate creations. Together with accurately crafted single-origin bars, chocoholics will find trendy, provocative and fun treats as well. The brand collaborates often with local businesses in specialty segments like coffee and liquors, for tasting experiences that are the quintessence of craftsmanship.
Swiss chocolate takes a plant-based turn thanks to craft chocolate maker Britta. Her chocolate factory is where raw cacao beans meet a wide variety of vegan ingredients such as nuts, fruits and flowers for delightful mylk chocolate that has nothing to envy to its dairy counterpart. With a new store in Zurich called MOON, her treats are now even more accessible to dairy-free chocolate lovers in the form of fresh bonbons and pastries.
In the heart of Geneva, power couple François-Xavier and Caroline master each step of the chocolate making process, from hand sorting every batch of cacao beans to customizing roasting profiles for each origin. Just like wine makers, they age their chocolate for weeks to stabilize the natural flavors of cacao before selling it to the public. Unwrapping their chocolate bars feel like uncovering a vintage treasure.
A colorful, eye-catching and pop design makes the Garçoa Chocolate bars unmistakable. Fine cacao from Ghana, India and Peru is skillfully turned into single-origin tablets, drinking chocolate, cacao nibs and baking chocolate. Together with fine flavor, transparency is Garçoa Chocolate’s priority, as the source of their cacao beans is disclosed in detail on their website.
Milkboy Swiss Chocolate
Milk and white chocolate lovers find their mecca in the assortment of Milkboy Swiss Chocolate. Exceptional milk from local dairy farmers in the Alps is the common denominator of Crunchy Caramel, Bourbon Vanilla, Roasted Almonds and other creamy chocolates manufactured with all natural ingredients. Free of gluten and soy, these 100gr bars will satisfy all cravings for deliciousness.