There is more to Swiss chocolate than Lindt
The Swiss aren’t just great at making chocolate, they are also the world’s best at consuming it - according to a local website on average the Swiss consumer 10.1kg of chocolate per year. But which chocolate do we eat? I can tell you, it isn't just Lindt.
There is more to Swiss chocolate than just Lindt. Yes, it's delicious but restricting yourself to just one brand means you are missing an entire array of amazing chocolate - even budget-friendly chocolate here is worth trying.
Whether you are choosing a chocolate from the wall of chocolate bars at the supermarket, or going a little more upscale, there is amazing chocolate out there just waiting to be discovered. With Easter coming up, I thought it was the perfect time to share not only my very favourite Swiss chocolate but also the favorites from my friends. Check to see if your favourite Swiss chocolate on the list!
If there is a bar of Ovomaltine chocolate in our house, it takes all my will power not to finish it in one sitting. The Ovomaltine Crunchy Extra bars are my favourite with their extra-large pieces filled with crunchy bits of malted chocolate deliciousness. We all like the light puffy balls called Ovo Rocks, too. Ovomaltine has recently become my go-to chocolate that I gift to my Aussie relatives and friends, and you will be guaranteed to find a bar or two in my suitcase this Easter break. You can get Ovomaltine chocolate in most grocery stores like Coop, but I don’t think I have seen them in Migros.
I didn’t need to ask SFT editor Pamela what her favourite Swiss chocolate is because she has been raving about paves for years! But until writing this blog post I have never tried them myself!. Paves are small cobbled-stoned pavement like shaped bits of heaven which Pamela describes as “so smooth they melt in your mouth right away” but not as rich as truffles. Her favourites are the dark ones. The small little cubes of perfection are ideal for that “little something” when the sweet tooth calls. You can get them in Zug from Strickler or if you are visiting the French side of Switzerland try the Pavé De Genève (Pavement of Geneva) at Chocolats Rohr or Paves Tony in Lausanne.
Regusa dates back to 1942 from Swiss chocolatier Camilie Bloch, and are the favourites of my Teen. She loves the combination of the crunchy hazelnuts with the soft praline filling. You can buy these in supermarkets or why not visit Chez Camilie Bloch located just a 60-minute drive past Bern in the French-Swiss village of Courtlary.
Läderach chocolate bars
You will find the chocolatier Läderach with shops all over Switzerland, from Zurich’s famous shopping street Bahnhofstrasse to the train station in Lugano. And if you eat all the chocolate you have bought before you get to the airport, there is even an airport store so you don’t go home empty handed. This is the favourite place to go chocolate shopping of SFT writer Abbie because of their interesting flavour combinations. SFT editor Pamela loves their eco-friendly and sustainable ethos of enriching the communities where they source their cocoa beans. Try chocolate dark or light with combinations like red peppercorn, cornflakes, orange and almond and honey. You can order some flavours online but going into the store is a treat in itself with large blocks of chocolate on display where you can ask for as much or as little as you like. You can visit Läderach at one of their Chocolate Experiences in Zürich and Vevey which have courses as well, or tours in Bilten or Ennenden. Learn how chocolate is produced from the picking of the beans to the finishing of the product in their factories.
A simple Callier milk chocolate
Swiss chocolate doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy to be good. Sometimes simple is best, and my friend Gabby is more than happy with the Callier milk chocolate wrapped in the purple wrapping available at most grocery stores. You can visit Maison Callier close to Gruyere which has tours and workshops.
The chocolate brand Frey comes under the supermarket Migros banner and can only be purchased there. There are so many varieties to choose from but my very favorite has to be the larger blocks with whole nuts in them.
If you are in central Switzerland, the factory store at Felchlin in Schwyz is more than worth a visit. Although their factory is not open for tours, their factory shop is—and they supply some of the most famous pastry chefs in the world as well as local conditereis with their chocolates. They also stock finished products from the companies they supply their chocolate to. Here you’ll find everything from drinking chocolate to multiple varieties of chocolates from cocoa sourced from around the world. Enjoy a tasting of chocolates with various levels of cocoa, and see which one speaks to you. Take home kilos or just a few chocolate bars—but know that you won’t find this chocolate selling anywhere else in the world. A truly unique gift for those deserving friends and family who had to stay home. Or not…
I recently stumbled upon this chocolate while walking through the gourmet supermarket in Zurich and got to talking to the wife of the chocolatier who was handing out samples. The idea behind this chocolate is to provide organic, fair-trade chocolate for kids that just has 4 basic ingredients: raw sugar, Fairtrade and organic Cacao, Swiss Milk and organic and fairtrade vanilla. The chocolate is smooth and creamy but also a little reicher than your normal milk chocolate thanks to its 42% cacao content.
I’ve only scratched the surface of the myriad chocolate varieties here in Switzerland, so the best way to find good to chocolate is to just taste it! (Someone has to do it). For more wallet-friendly chocolate be sure to visit the local supermarkets COOP and Migros. They each carry different brands of chocolates. For something more special, keep an eye out for local Conditoreis across the country and pop in and ask about their speciality. In Zurich look out for Teuscher, in Luzern Max Chocolatier, and Favarger in Geneva.