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Swiss Delice - a Swiss delice?
September 7, 2005
2:46 pm
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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Just tried a bare from Swiss Delice, Noir Authentique 78%. As the percentage implies a quite strong bar. Unfortunately, it is another example of harsh bars mainly of forasteros, soaked in vanillin. Added cocoa powder increases the bitterness. It’s not the bitterness that annoys me, but a harsh underlying taste, almost metallic and “grey”, which it shares with many “low-end-but-pretending-to-be-high-end” bars. It seems that they have added a few percent of better beans for flavour, but this actually makes things worse, because the slightly fruityness just crashes with the overall bitterness. Dice: 2

I am not so sure if Swiss chocolate really deserves its reputation anymore. Sure, Pronatec makes an excellent chocolate – but otherwise? Toblerone is, well, Toblerone; Lindt is sort of OK if nothing else is available, but are there any other really good Swiss producers?

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
September 7, 2005
3:35 pm
Sebastian
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http://www.felchlin.com/ can be pretty good 8-)

September 7, 2005
4:44 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Ah, Polar, such is my opinion of Venchi’s 85%. A total disappointment. Metallic notes accentuated by chiding fruitiness. I updated the review for that one, and it’s remarkably similar to your experience with this bar.

September 7, 2005
9:41 pm
seneca
USA
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Don’t know if anyone else out there shares the opinion, but I think the Villars 72% is pretty tasty (and Swiss :-)

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
September 7, 2005
9:55 pm
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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Confiserie Sprüngli is another Swiss company working at the highest level:
[url]www.confiserie-spruengli.ch[/url]

“Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos” (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
September 8, 2005
1:15 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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You have to keep in mind Switzerland’s important reputation regarding chocolate, which whether or not you realize it, is immeasurably large. During a time when Europe was still attempting to develop a successful combination of chocolate and milk, Daniel Peters – with Henri Nestle’s “invention” of milk powder – produced the first stable milk chocolate bar. Beforehand, the liquid form of milk was just too, well liquidy, so Nestle’s introduction of milk powder led Peters to the conlcusion of combining it with chocolate. Since then, the Swiss have been the standard to which all milk chocolate is compared, and indeed, this reputation has remained to this date. Besides, look at all the advertising of the time period. This is no doubt powerful advertisement, which is evidenced by huge surges of consumerism, and the fact that such associations still adhere today really is a testimony to its past.

Several other innovations are of Swiss technological prowess as well. For example, Suchard and Callier invented new methods for grinding cacao beans; Kohler helped spread the popularity of hazelnuts combined with chocolate; Lindt invented the conche; and so on and so on.

While Swiss chocolate may be surpassed immensely by other countries, 200-300 years ago or so, the situation was entirely different. So, in other words, the situation needs to be evaluated and perceived in terms of context, not only in regards to yesterday but in regards to its impact on today’s market. Likewise, it may be fashionable to deny a Hershey’s bar for obvious reasons, but to deny Hershey’s of its historical impact on American chocolate would be an extreme misjustice to chocolate overall.

September 8, 2005
3:16 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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I believe I read somewhere that Felchlin did not want to conform to the typical Swiss inclination towards creamy milk chocolate. And I’m certainly glad they did because as Sebastian noted, they do produce some good chocolate, but it is not available in retail form, so if you’re really desperate to try it, you have to buy it in bulk. Also, don’t quote me on this, but Sprüngli might use Felchlin in their products. So that might be another option.

September 8, 2005
7:57 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by seneca

Don’t know if anyone else out there shares the opinion, but I think the Villars 72% is pretty tasty (and Swiss :-)


Uuuuh! Go and wash your mouth, Seneca! [:D]
IMHO, Villars 72% is the mother of all wannabe-seventysomethingpercents, with the metallic taste. I used to like it some years ago. Then I discovered something better…[:I]

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
September 8, 2005
8:02 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by Montegrano
While Swiss chocolate may be surpassed immensely by other countries, 200-300 years ago or so, the situation was entirely different. So, in other words, the situation needs to be evaluated and perceived in terms of context, not only in regards to yesterday but in regards to its impact on today’s market.


Sure Switzerland has a long and proud choc history, but I think you agree that today’s Swiss cocolate should be judged by how it is today? Just like Belgian pralines aren’t necessarliy good because of a proud history and slick marketing? (I must be a marketers nightmare, because it almost never works on me).

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
September 8, 2005
4:38 pm
seneca
USA
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Heh. Just goes to show how palates can differ :-) I don’t get anything metallic off of the Villars at all, just a deep cocoa flavor with light hazelnuts. Pretty good, if you ask me…

I guess this could devolve into a nature/nurture kind of discussion, but I’d say that although you have to judge individual chocolatiers on their more recent efforts, a region’s past certainly does have an effect on its chocolate-making present. For instance, would Scharffen Berger have cropped up in the Bay Area without the local chocolate heritage going back to Guittard and Ghirardelli? Interesting to think about at the very least…

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
September 8, 2005
4:55 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Polar, yes, in some respects, I believe that the current products coming from Switzerland need to be judeged solely on their own merit, but of course, it is hard to do so when they are surpassed so easily and readily by other manufacturers from other countries. Therefore, the comparative analysis always come into play, so there really is no singling out. But, what I was ultmately trying to allude to was that Swiss chocolate, and indeed chocolate in general, would not be where it is today if not for the early pioneers. Although quality may have diminished over the years, who’s to vouch for it 200-300 years ago? Things change.

September 9, 2005
7:21 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by MontegranoBut, what I was ultmately trying to allude to was that Swiss chocolate, and indeed chocolate in general, would not be where it is today if not for the early pioneers.


Sure, we agree about that!

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
September 9, 2005
6:17 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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That’s good [:)] Besides, when all one consumes is the likes of Domori, Cluizel, Valrhona, et al, it’s similar to comparing apples to oranges, or rather: milk chocolate to dark chocolate [;)]

September 10, 2005
12:33 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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March 17, 2005
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Swiss Pamaco site just been activated.”New wave” type of chocolate, not bad at all, on sweeter side, closer to Valrhona vintage bars.
http://www.produktivzone.de/pa…..ommen.html

October 15, 2005
12:32 pm
confiseur
Switzerland
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October 14, 2005
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….yes Felchlin do supply Confiserie Sprungli (whose cafe on Paradeplatz make the best hot chocolate in Europe bar-none)…something of a minor revolution in conservative Helvetia, giving the family connections.
Oh..if you are a fan of Felchlin get your orders in quick as they lost a massive amount of stock in the recent floods in central CH.