Guide to Swiss Chocolates, which is the best?
Chocolate started in Mesoamerica where chocolate fermented drinks was consumed by the Aztecs around 450 BC, they believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom. Cacao seeds were very valuable during those days, so valuable they were used as a form of currency. Today this drink still exists but most probably the process and some ingredients had changed, now called “Chilate” and are made by locals in the South of Mexico.
In the 16th century it arrived in Europe, they then decided to add sugar to it, and it became popular among the elite members of the society. In 17th century Switzerland started producing chocolates, it started with Daniel Peter, a Swiss chocolatier. A neighbour of Henri Nestlé in Vevey. Daniel Peter was one of the first chocolatiers to make milk chocolate by adding powdered milk to the chocolate.
When Peter was inventing milk chocolate in 1857, he had a problem with removing the water from the milk and that caused mildew to form which gave the chocolate a very short lifespan. He then asked for help from a baby-food manufacturer by the name of Henri Nestlé, he was his best person to get help from as Henri Nestlé invented a milk-condensation process which would redefine how Daniel Peter makes chocolate. After seven years they were able to bring the product onto the market, after that they officiated their partnership which is now the Nestlé Company.
In the second half of the 19th century, Swiss Chocolates started to become popular and the rest was history. Now there are more than 50 brands of chocolates just in Switzerland alone and here we are showcasing the different popular chocolates we had tried.
Let’s start with the fancy ones.
Confiseur Laderach AG
No, you can’t but this supermarkets in Switzerland (I think) but there are shops everywhere, and if you happen to be in Zurich Haubtbahnhof then there are two branches there. They offer a lot of chocolates, but we always go for their FrischSchoggi™, basically a large block of freshly made chocolate that they sell by the gram.
Another favourite one, while we always visit this for their Luxemburgerli they also sell chocolates. Knowing they are branded as Swiss luxury confectionery manufacturer you will definitely see, taste and feel the quality of their chocolates and truffles.
Lindt & Sprüngli
Another favourite and what’s even better they have a factory shop in Zurich where you can get some chocolates at a heavily discounted price. This chocolate is somewhere in the mid-range, it’s not expensive and it’s not cheap either but the quality is up there with the luxury confectionery manufacturers. Our go to chocolate it their Lindor and Pralines, not the boxed ones but their factory shop they have the ones that did not pass the beauty quality control and the price is heavily reduced.
Now let’s go to the chocolate bar world, starting with Teuscher. These guys sell bars, they are great but what’s even better is their pralines. You might not recognize this brand but if you saw the chocolate boxes in chocolate shops where the box cover is either the painting of Lake Zurich, Grossmunster, Teuscher Maison or Market Bridge, that is Teuscher.
This is our go to pasalubong (gift/giveaway) to friends and colleagues where you can get them in bulk from Coop or Migros. Classic Bars, Tourist, Giandor or Pralinor, they are all good, creamy rich cocoa, everything you expect of a Swiss Chocolate.
Another one of our go to pasalubong (gift/giveaway), almost similar quality to Frey, so similar it’s hard to distinguish who is better, what the deciding factor is who is cheaper as the price is almost similar too. We usually buy the Callier or Frigor Bars.
Yes, that is not a mis-spelling, it is really Ovomaltine and that is basically what Ovaltine is called in Europe. That by the way is the original name and it came from the world ovum, Latin for “egg”, and malt, which were originally its main ingredients. While we love the drink and the spread, my daughter loves their chocolate bars (Ovomaltine Schokolade) too, and like Ovaltine there is that unique crunch on every bite.
Now the popular ones, starting with Toblerone. We really did not have the chance to buy this is Switzerland and in fact they are not as popular there compared to most airport shops, so we only buy this in Airports. Nothing wrong with the chocolates but since there are many other options, we grab the ones we cannot usually buy outside of Switzerland.
The one that started it all, same with Toblerone since this chocolate brand is everywhere it was never the first option when we buy chocolates in Switzerland. Kit Kat, this is best to get them in Japan, Milky Bar, Smarties and Aero I am sure you can find this easily in your supermarket.
The popular light purple chocolate bar, while not as popular as Toblerone and Nestlé products, this too can be found in major retailers. We loved its Creamy milky chocolate bar, and if you are after that flavour there’s no other match for this brand. It tastes more milk than cocoa, its creamy and it melts in your mouth delicious.
Toblerone is very popular here. I love Lindt! Just got a pack from a cousin who is back from Australia.