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Unwrapping Swiss Chocolate: Modern Tastes

Part 2 of this series helps us discover the modern tastes of Swiss chocolate. To read more about the history of chocolate making, be sure to read Part 1: Unwrapping Swiss Chocolate: History and Swiss Innovation.


Industry Leaders

Swiss chocolate holds a rich and storied history, dating back to the 17th century when it was called a luxury and enjoyed by the elite. Over the centuries, innovative minds like Francois-Louis Cailler, Daniel Peter and Rodolphe Lindt transformed chocolate-making, introducing techniques that have shaped the industry worldwide. This legacy of excellence continues today, with Swiss chocolatiers blending tradition with innovation to produce indulgent delights revered globally.


From the meticulous selection of premium cocoa beans to the precise conching process, Swiss chocolate represents the pinnacle of culinary craftsmanship, captivating taste buds worldwide with rich flavour and velvety texture.  You will see brands like Lindt, Nestle, and Toblerone sold in shops almost everywhere, which contributes significantly to the Swiss economy, bringing in billions of dollars from exports every year. 


Innovative Flavours and Texture

The Swiss chocolate industry continues to push boundaries by experimenting with unique and innovative flavour combinations, often drawing inspiration from local ingredients. Surprising pairings are also being incorporated into chocolate bars, offering a delightful contrast of flavours. In addition to exploring new flavour profiles, Swiss chocolate makers are also focusing on texture and mouthfeel. Some are using special manufacturing processes to create chocolate with a light, airy texture, providing a unique sensory experience. 


These tasty combinations show how Swiss chocolate makers always come up with with new and delicious ideas to make chocolate even better.

  • Chocolate and nuts: A natural combination, you can find many different types of chocolate with nuts. Frey makes dark chocolate with crunchy hazelnut bits, while Toblerone has almond and honey nougat, plus salted caramel and crunchy pieces. 

  • Chocolate and fruit: Another popular combination, there are many ways in which fruit is combined with chocolate. It is used in dried or powdered form and is also a popular ingredient for fillings.

  • Chocolate and dairy: Swiss chocolate is known for being creamy. Callier has a line of super smooth chocolate while Swiss Miss makes white chocolate flavoured hot cocoa. 

  • Chocolate and spice: Lindt makes chocolates with dark chocolate mixed with spices like pink pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom. 

  • Chocolate and herbs: Callier has a collection of chocolates that mix chocolate with herbs like raspberry and thyme, or honey and lavender. 


While embracing innovation, these chocolatiers remain dedicated to upholding the traditional quality standards that have made Swiss chocolate renowned worldwide. By blending time-honoured techniques with creative flair, the Swiss chocolate industry continues to lead in flavour exploration in the modern chocolate landscape. 


Health and Sustainability

Image: Sierra Club

Chocolate lovers can now enjoy their treats guilt-free, thanks to the focus of local chocolatiers on the health qualities of chocolate. Dark chocolate is known to be high in antioxidants and beneficial compounds like flavanols. Swiss chocolatiers are showcasing the natural benefits of dark chocolate by making bars with high cocoa percentages and less sugar. Many chocolatiers are also crafting vegan chocolate bars using plant-based ingredients like oat or rice milk, perfect for those following a dairy-free lifestyle.


Sustainability and ethical sourcing are also priorities with companies like Chocolat Stella and Choba Choba  producing organic, fair trade, and vegan chocolates using ethically sourced cocoa. They emphasize transparency in their supply chains and support for cocoa farmers. 


Basel Chocolatiers

While there is excellent chocolate all over Switzerland, here are some local places to try:

  • Beschle Chocolatier Suisse is one of the oldest chocolate makers in Basel, dating back generations. They are known for their creative flavour combinations like Earl Grey or absinthe chocolate barks. 

  • Confiserie Schiesser is a popular Basel-based chocolatier renowned for high-quality artisanal chocolates. They experiment with unique flavours like olive oil and balsamic vinegar in their chocolate bars. 

  • Xocolatl carries over 40 handmade chocolate brands from around the world. They also have a cafe specializing in hot chocolate and decadent chocolate cake.

  • Confiserie Brändli was founded in 1935 and has over 90 different types of pralines (filled chocolates) as well as pastries, cakes and sandwiches.

  • Confiserie Graf has locations in Basel and Rheinfelden and makes fine specialty chocolates for the connoisseur, using the finest ingredients, with traditional methods.

  • Läderach has locations all over Switzerland with an incredible number of pralines and chocolate bark to choose from, including vegan options. They also work closely with chocolate farmers to ensure the highest quality ingredients in fair conditions.

  • Confiserie Sprüngli has locations all over Switzerland and has been living and breathing Swiss chocolate tradition since 1836. They specialize in 'grand cru' chocolate, which uses single origin cocoa from small-scale farmers.


I hope this series has encourages you too to appreciate the fine art of Swiss chocolate making!


Akanksha Singh


Akanksha Awadhesh Singh was born and brought up in India and is currently pursuing Master of Food Science and Nutrition, at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Currently, she works as a health writer in Health Today in New York, where she mostly writes blogs based on food, health and wellness. She is also a poet and has published a poetry journal entitled Ehsaas. She also maintains a blog page on Medium.com. In her spare time, she loves to read books and listen to some good music. Even though she never lived in Basel, she is highly fascinated by Basel food and culture. 








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