The term "Swiss chocolate" simply means chocolate from Switzerland. Why, then, does it have its own classification? What makes it different from other types of chocolate?
The answer: Quality and history.The Swiss are perhaps the European masters of chocolate and the pioneering chocolatiers in this country have refined the making of candy into high art.
The high quality of Swiss chocolate is due to a number of factors.The most important are the perfect quality of raw materials, state-of-the-art manufacturing methods, and strict quality requirements.And it can't be argued that superb processing into finished products and highly skilled personnel are essential factors, too.
Authentic Swiss chocolate is manufactured entirely in Switzerland.Any, even partial, processing outside of Switzerland is explicitly stated on the package and must comply with the clarity principle.
In the second half of the 18th century, natives of Yal Blenio popularized chocolate in Switzerland.Other large foreign chocolate manufacturers had already made a name for themselves throughout the world.Just a few decades later, a handful of Swiss entrepreneurs would lay the foundations for the world-wide reputation of the Switzerland's chocolate industry.
The Swiss chocolate pioneers had to struggle hard for their subsequent sweet success, but they were firmly united by a single purpose--to improve the quality of chocolate.The diligence of these pioneers showed itself in their development of more efficient machinery and in their constant refinement of chocolate manufacturing recipes. From small beginnings, for the most part, they laid the foundation which upholds the reputation of Swiss confections today.
We can thank these Swiss Pioneers of Chocolate for the sweet pleasures we enjoy today:
In 1819 he opened the first Swiss chocolate factory at Corsier, near Vevey.
In 1824 he opened a confectioner's business in Neuchâtel.
In 1880 he opened the first Swiss chocolate foreign branch in Lorrach, Germany.
In 1826 he started the production of chocolate by hand in Geneva.
His son-in-law, JEAN-SAMUEL FAVARGER, later became his successor.
He succeeded in developing something which was going to be of great benefit to the chocolate industry - hazelnut chocolate.
He manufactured this new speciality in Lausanne in partnership with his son.
In 1845 he produced chocolate for the first time in his confectioner's shop in Zurich using an improved method of manufacture.
In 1899 his son RODOLPHE SPRÜNGLI-SCHIFFERLI took over the factory of well-established RODOLPHE LINDT.
In 1852 he opened a chocolate factory in Lucerne.
Soon space became too limited and the factory was moved to St. Gallen.
In 1856 he established a chocolate factory in Le Locle which rapidly achieved a considerable reputation.
In 1875 he invented milk chocolate by simply adding milk to chocolate.
Originally he only discovered chocolate because was smitten by Fanny Cailler, the eldest daughter of François-Louis Cailler.
He perfected the making of condensed milk, without which Daniel Peter could not have industrialized his milk chocolate.
The Nestlé and Peter companies subsequently worked very closely together.
JOHANN GEORG MUNZ
In 1874 he set up a confectionery works in Flawil.
Some time later, ALBERT MUNZ also began to manufacture chocolate.
Opened a chocolate factory below the cathedral in Berne.
His genius for invention led him to a new process by which he produced the first melting, or fondant, chocolate.
This refining effect is today known as "conching".
His adding of cocoa butter to the chocolate, to give it the necessary melting quality, was another epoch-making discovery for chocolate.
CHARLES MULLER and KARL BERNHARDT
In 1893 they founded the first and only chocolate factory in Grison.
In 1961 it changed hands and was then carried on under the name of Lindt & Sprüngli.
In 1899 he and his sons founded the "Fabrique de Chocolat de Berne, Tobler & Cie".
Today this firm manufactures under the Jacobs Suchard Tobler company.
are the companies that helped to build up and continually maintain the
image of the Swiss chocolate's high standing all over the world:
1902 Nago AG in Olten (1971 merger with Lindt & Sprüngli)
1908 Max Felchlin AG in Schwyz
1928 Stella SA in Lugano
1929 Camille Bloch SA in Courtelary
1931 Carma AG in Dübendorf
1933 Bernrain AG in Kreuzlingen
Touch of Trivia:
What country consumes the most chocolate per year, per capita?
Answer: Switzerland - the average citizen consumes 22.36 lbs./yr.