Chocolates Haute Couture or Prêt-à-porter
Switzerland is known for its chocolate, which Belgians for their chocolatiers. Thereby the Praline invented in France.
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Belgium and Switzerland play the leading roles in chocolate
Belgium is known for its chocolatiers, Switzerland for its chocolate. Both of these countries have a long chocolate tradition. The Swiss Jean Neuhaus emigrated to Belgium and offered cocoa-containing products in his pharmacy there, which he sometimes used to sweeten bitter pills. His grandson Jean Neuhaus began to produce chocolates in small series for the first time
It hurt his wife’s heart when these delicacies in what were then paper bags were broken during transport. She invented a chocolate box in which the delicate chocolates could be transported , the basic elements of which are still used by good chocolatiers today.
The praline comes from France of course
Pralines were first made for the Count of Plessis-Praslin by the French cook César de Choiseul . The cook named the sweet delicacies after his employer Praslins, from which the word praline is derived , but Jean Neuhaus is widely known as the inventor of praline.
As a result , a number of chocolate companies were established in Belgium. The latter succeeded in lobbying the then King Leopold and induced him to grow cocoa beans in the then Belgian colony of Congo. This was intended to reduce dependence on South American cocoa.
Colonialism and chocolate are closely linked. In 1528, the Spaniard Cortez brought cocoa, Mexican pepper and Tahitian vanilla from his conquests to Spain. As Belgium was part of the Kingdom of Spain at that time, the Belgians had very early access to chocolate.
Belgium took advantage of this time lead. To this day there are a number of successful chocolatiers in Belgium who dominate the market worldwide, especially in the luxury sector. Some of the most famous chocolate houses such as Godiva, Guylian and Galler are now owned by foreign investors whose capital has been used to successfully develop foreign markets such as China, Japan and the USA.
Godiva now belongs to the Turkish holding company Yildiz (unfortunately with this change of ownership our favorite praline with the delicious rum-marzipan filling was also deleted), Guylian belongs to a group from South Korea and Galler is owned by the royal family of Quatar.
Chocolate for every country
The chocolate production is country-specific. The majority of Belgian chocolate producers, for example, have committed themselves to a code that excludes fats other than those of the cocoa bean.
The European regulation allows up to 5 percent of other (usually cheaper) fats. Whoever tries chocolate bars in England or the United States of America quickly notices that the taste is very different compared to chocolate from Belgium or Switzerland.
The world’s largest chocolate fountain is in Zurich
In September of this year, the Home of Chocolate was opened at Schokoladenplatz 1 in Kilchberg, Zurich, a space for experiencing the history and manufacture of chocolate by Lindt & Sprüngli AG. One hundred million francs were invested in the new chocolate house , which was designed by renowned museum architects.
In the atrium, the probably world’s largest chocolate fountain in the form of an egg whisk was placed with a height of over 9 meters. What resembles a Jeff Koons sculpture is a reminder that the first conching machine for chocolate was invented in Switzerland in 1879 by Rudolphe Lindt from Bern. Conching – a refinement process in which the chocolate is stirred along a certain temperature curve for up to 24 hours – gives the otherwise rather hard chocolate a shine and soft melting
The fine differences between the AG and the family business
Rodolphe Lindt and Rudolf Sprüngli founded Lindt & Sprüngli AG. In 1892 Rudolf Sprüngli divided the company between his two sons. Johann Rudolf takes over the chocolate factory , now Lindt & Sprüngli AG, while David Robert takes over the confectionery , which operates under the name Confiserie Sprüngli as a family-run craft enterprise .
The confectionery Sprüngli is responsible for fine truffles and maccarons (Luxembürgerli), while Lindt is positioned in the volume market, generating worldwide sales of 4.1 billion Swiss francs in 2017, while maintaining the image of the master chocolatier in white uniform and chef’s hat in its brand communication.
The shrine of GloriousMe
Like many products , chocolate requires constant innovation. As pleasure purists, we nevertheless very much regret that the beautiful Jugendstil Café of Confiserie Sprüngli on Paradeplatz in Zurich, for decades the place of pilgrimage for GloriousMe to drink hot chocolate and enjoy the Truffes du Jour, now also offers quinoa salad and hamburgers. For us, the smell of other foods alone is not compatible with fine chocolate.
The Swiss chocolate industry attaches great importance to the protection of the Swiss chocolate brand, for which only ready-made conched chocolate or chocolate mass may be used that has been produced entirely in Switzerland from cocoa beans, cocoa butter, sugar and possibly milk. Globalization has not stopped at Swiss chocolate either. Suchard, founded by the Swiss confectioner Philippe Suchard, initially merged with Jacob Suchard and was sold to the American company Kraft in 1990. Since the division of the Kraft company, the chocolate business has operated under the name Mondelez.
The Matterhorn is located in Switzerland. The Toblerone, however, has not made its home in Switzerland for a long time
The fact that Milka and Toblerone are now brands of the American company Mondelez would hardly have been noticed by consumers if Mondelez had not decided to offer the Toblerone in England with fewer “mountain ranges” in view of the falling English pound and rising raw material prices.
This emotional theme was taken up by many newspapers as a symbol of the impending brexite : More valleys than heights. In this context, many reports have pointed out that Toblerone no longer comes from Switzerland, as most chocolate lovers thought, who liked to buy the huge Toblerone bars in the Duty Free Shop as a typical Swiss souvenir, whose shape is reminiscent of the Matterhorn.