Swiss Chocolate

It’s time for another Friday food feature.

Oddly enough, it was my husband who reminded me that I hadn’t yet written about Swiss chocolate.  Of all people, why was it a guy?  Then again, he knows me well, and he’s doubtless surprised that I haven’t mentioned my favorite food group yet (the chocolate one, of course).

One thing I loved about Switzerland was the abundance of fresh, gourmet chocolate.  Not only could I find a wide variety of it in the grocery store, every local bakery had its own homemade chocolate.  Here, you’ll see a small bakery with an elaborate selection of chocolates.  This particular bakery was up in the mountains in a tiny alpine town.

Not only do the Swiss have incredible gourmet chocolates, such as truffles, they also do a great job baking chocolate into all sorts of goodies.  Here, you can see a roll that I’m eating that is stuffed with chocolate on the inside.  The Swiss version of a croissant is called gipfeli (they seem slightly less buttery), and you can often find chocolate gipfli at local bakeries.  I had it for an afternoon snack with coffee.

Here’s a word you’ll need to familiarize yourself with in order to understand and purchase Swiss Chocolate: noisettes.  That’s the French word for hazelnuts, and it seemed like I found that word more often than the German and more recognizable “haselnüssen.”  The Swiss love to stick hazelnuts in everything. It’s their equivalent of peanuts, if you ask me.  So, if you’re not a big fan of them (try some Nutella to see if you like the taste), learn to look for that word.

I’ll end with a recipe, since I’ve been doing that a lot with these food posts.  I’m borrowing this one from my friend Jen Zug, who served me this chocolate Irish Creme fondue.  It’s got ingredients that are easy to find in the US, but it’s got the Swiss fondue twist.  I also like it because you can make it long before the party and leave it warm on the stove until you’re ready to transfer it to the prepared fondue pot stand.

Ingredients:
18 ounces Semi Sweet Chocolate (chocolate chips work fine)
1/2 cup Light or heavy cream
1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in your chocolate fondue pot and heat on your stove burner on medium low.  Stir until everything melts.  Turn down the burner to low and stir occasionally until you’re ready to serve it.

Optional dippers:
Strawberries
Pineapple chunks
Angel food cake pieces
Pretzels

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. When I first went to Switzerland in 1962 I came back with Swiss Cheese and Swiss Chocolate on my brain. Wonderful. My chocolate of choice these days is Belgium though.

    I will go look for your blackberry post.

    AL: I envy your close proximity to all those good chocolates over there. I’ll have to content myself with imports across the Atlantic.

  2. How do the French and Swiss eat like this without getting fat?! I just don’t get it.

    You should probably also mention that to avoid scalding the chocolate, it’s best to melt it down double-boiler style, with the pot sitting on top of another pot of boiling water.

    AL: Alright, if you want to get all fancy schmancy on me. =) I seem to recall you doing something like that, come to think of it. For those of without the official double boilers, I’ve had success using a metal bowl that fits atop a saucepan.

    The fatness thing. I think it’s just not fair. That’s my opinion. Maybe it’s something in their water.

    Thank Jen.

  3. I thought it was interesting that they had date stamps on their chocolates. Out of date chocolates were sold to the tourists!

    And after visiting there, I am hooked on Swiss and only Swiss chocolate.

    AL: All that imported chocolate can get pricey. I know what you mean.

  4. Amy I have an award for you on my blog.

    Thanks so much Barbara! That’s the first award I’ve ever gotten on my blog. What an honor!

  5. Those chocolates do look so appetizing.
    I came via Barb who mentioned your blog. You have some most interesting posts.

    AL: Thanks for stopping by my blog! I admit that I’m jealous of your place of residence. Getting to retire to the French countryside, what a romantic adventure!

  6. Congratulations on your award. Stopping by here from Barbara’s. Chocolate, Jane Austin and Monet, all from one blog wow…these are a few of my favorite things…(quoting Julie Andrews…how silly of me) Was that you in front of the water lilies painting?

    Your post on the Chapman family was a very special tribute. Thanks for sharing it.

    AL: Glad you enjoyed my site. Hope you’ll stop by again. Yes, that’s me in front of the painting. My friend took it when we were spending the day sightseeing in Zurich, Switzerland last summer. I thought it gave a good sense of the scope of the painting. Monet was losing his eyesight toward the end of his life, and as a result, his canvases just got larger!


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