Thursday, 18 October 2012

Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts - Swiss Style

Is it me or is it just coincidence that things happen in threes. For example, at the weekend a Swiss customer visited my chocolate stall and tasted my chocolate explaining that, "10 o'clock in the morning is not my usual 'chocolate time',  I have 200 grams of chocolate at 2 o'clock everyday".  He wasn't joking either!  A few days later a friend visited Switzerland and returned laden down with many chunky and colourful chocolate bars, without any prompting from me.  Today, I read in the Metro that the Von Trapp family who inspired The Sound of Music and escaped from Austria into Switzerland had ancestors in Bolton!  Uncanny, don't you think. Obviously, if I'm reading the signs correctly I need to book a skiing holiday immediately. But, maybe not.  If I remember the last time I visited Switzerland, some thirty years ago, I came down the mountain on all fours and minus a couple of ski poles! Not something I wish to repeat.

Visit their Swiss Website to enter a Competition

Nestle UK and Ireland is a subsidiary of Nestle SA, described interestingly as the world's, nutrition, health and wellness company. In the UK and Ireland alone they employ 7,000 people. They produce well known brands such as, Kit Kat, Nescafe, Smarties, Buxton, Go Cat and Shreddies.  The majority of these products originated in Vevay, Switzerland. The company started in 1866, was the brainchild of Henri Nestle, who came up with a substitute for breastfeeding mothers who could not feed their children.  His first product had a really catchy name, "Farine Lactee Henri Nestle", the brand name might not have been a success but his formula was and he saved many children. Read more here about the history of Nestle

The Cailler connection came about when in 1819 Francois-Louis Cailler opened the first chocolate making factory in Switzerland.  His first shop was near Corsier-sur-Vevay.  He bought an existing chocolate factory in 1825, the Chenaux Ziegler mill, to produce high quality chocolate using industrial processes, that ordinary people could afford.  Cailler’s greatest innovation was a delightfully smooth chocolate that was formed into bars. The idea quickly became a sensation all over the world. In 1875, Daniel Peter combined Cailler’s quality chocolate with his neighbour, Henri Nestle’s condensed milk to produce a deliciously smooth and creamy milk chocolate. Cailler soon merged with Charles Amedee Kohler, known for the invention of hazelnut chocolate, and were later purchased by manufacturing giant, Nestle, in 1929.

This 100g bar is described as, 'Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts', containing sweetened condensed whole milk 39%, sugar, hazelnuts 24%, etc, etc. It also contains 28% cocoa solids. It has a GDA of 5% (Guideline Daily Amount) but, as it is all in Swiss I can't translate it. You'll not be surprised to learn that there is a powerful aroma of hazelnuts coming from this bar. At this time of year don't leave your bar unattended in a park or a squirrel might nab it!  And yes, "what has a hazelnut in every bite", does spring to mind as the first chunks are devoured. The chocolate is silky smooth and sweet but not over the top and reminds me of Topic without that distinctive caramel flavour.  The nuts are crunchy and plentiful. 

An enjoyable 'industrial' bar of chocolate that's just an 'easy eat'.  I'm sure Swiss chocolate has much, much more to offer in terms of quality but, where can the best Swiss chocolates be found? Over to you.....

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