Merci Pour le Chocolat!

Today, July 7, is World Chocolate Day, and we bring you a brief history of chocolate-making in the birthplace of milk chocolate, Switzerland. We also take you on a tour of the world’s most unique chocolate museum with the biggest chocolate fountain.

Lindt Home of Chocolate Lindt Shop

Where do your favourite chocolate brands, Nestlé, Lindt, and Toblerone, have in common? They all originate in Switzerland of course, the Land of Chocolates. This sweet indulgence is famous for many reasons; here are a few.

A Sweet History

The Swiss nation has a long history of excellence in chocolate-making that goes back 200 years when François-Louis Cailler opened the first mechanized chocolate factory in Vevey in 1819. He put into practice all the tricks he’d learnt as a trainee in Ticino with Italian chocolatiers. That was the start of Switzerland’s love affair with chocolate that continues even today with local chocolatiers still using traditional recipes handed down from generations. Although the Swiss chocolate industry is founded on tradition, it is always looking to break new ground, which is one of the secrets of its success. In 1887, after many attempts, Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter created the original formula for what was to become the first successful milk chocolate in the entire world. Peter called his product “Gala” from the Greek, which means, “from the milk”. Before this, chocolate was not considered a delicacy. It was more of a nourishing and medicinal food because of its bitter taste. Apart from this, the Swiss have taught confectioners several new and important techniques like tempering of chocolate and conching to texture and flavour the chocolate that creates a melt-in-the-mouth experience.

Lindt Home of Chocolate, Giant Chocolate Fountain

Passionate Chocolatiers

Last year, one of the oldest Swiss chocolatiers in the world – Lindt, launched the ‘Home of Chocolate’ in Zurich. This 65,000 sq. ft., three-floor, multi-functional museum space dedicated only to chocolate, is devoted to the history and production of one of Switzerland’s most delectable exports. The space also houses the world’s largest ‘Chocolate Fountain’ which stands tall at 9 m at the entrance of the building, as well as the world’s largest Lindt chocolate shop, a Lindt café, and a Lindt Chocolateria for people who like to make their own chocolate creations. An ode to chocoholics world over, this chocolate haven is yet another reason why we all need to add Switzerland to our travel bucket lists!

Chocolate Trails

Across Switzerland, travellers can experience different chocolate tasting tours in Zurich, Bern, and Basel. One of the more unique and fun chocolate tours takes guests through Lavaux. On this route, visitors can go on a hike to learn more about the history of this sweet temptation whilst also savouring the delights of Grand Cru pralines en-route! One can also head to the Funky Chocolate Club in Interlaken to discover the art of chocolate making. The Club provides visitors with aprons, a chef’s hat, and all the ingredients needed to step into the shoes of a real chocolatier and create a personalized choco masterpiece!

In addition to the tours, the Montreux-Berner Oberland railway has dedicated a whole train to the world’s most irresistible temptation. The Chocolate train runs between Montreux and the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory at Broc, and is a ‘must-do’ for those who want to satiate their ‘sweet tooth’ as well as for railway and travel enthusiasts. With such an abundance of chocolate available across the country, it is not difficult to imagine that the Swiss are the biggest consumers of chocolate than any other nation in the world. They eat a record 11 kg of chocolate a year! No wonder then that they are a happy lot. Chocolate is known to have extremely soothing properties (it contains endorphins) and is a known brain stimulator. So, the best thing to take your mind off morbid news and thoughts these days would be to grab a bar of Swiss chocolate, uplift your spirit and relax!

In the meanwhile, until you plan your next holiday to Switzerland, you can tease your taste buds and take a virtual tour of the Lindt museum here:

LINDT Home of Chocolate - a unique vision that takes shape!


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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