I have been visiting Zurich for about four years to help with a West Coast Swing dance event. I love the city, I love seeing my friends, but let’s be honest, it is the chocolate that I dream about when I prepare for my yearly trip.
We have all heard stories about Swiss (or Belgium) chocolate, and I am sure you are wondering if it lives up to its hype. Yes, it does! Swiss chocolate is just smoother and creamier than the chocolate we get in the USA. I used to think they added more butter fat or sugar to their chocolate, but it is actually in the processing. Swiss companies mix or fold their chocolate over a period of 2-3 days while most American companies mix their chocolate for 2-3 hours. While the process is a little more complicated than I state, in the end, it really is about how much one company mixes their chocolate.
I get off at the central train station and turn right onto Bahnhofstrasse. This very expensive shopping street in the heart of Zurich holds the key to my heart. All three of my favorite chocolate shops can be found on this avenue. My first stop is Laderach Chocolate shop. This company is fairly new to the Swiss chocolate scene and makes sheets of wonderful, rich chocolate with unique flavor additions. Poured in large slabs, you tell them how much you want and they break off pieces for you. There is something primitive in the act of breaking off a chunk of chocolate from a big slab. Oh, the flavors! Pink Peppercorn Strawberry, Cranberry Almond, and Orange Almond all have a special place in my heart and the Grand Cru 70% being the essence of dreams.
I walk a little further down the street to Teuscher Chocolate shop. This is the home of the world’s best Champagne Truffles for over 40 years. These truffles are filled with whipped cream center of Dom Perignon and dark chocolate ganache surrounded by a milk chocolate shell. It is New Year’s Eve celebration in one bite. Teuscher truffles can now be purchased in the USA!
Finally, tired from carrying all my purchases, I stumble further down the road to my final destination, Sprüngli. This kissing cousin to Lindt (they are owned by the same parent company) has been in business since 1836 and is arguably the most famous of Swiss chocolatiers. The downstairs is a wonderful showroom full of truffles, chocolate bars, and luxembergerli. The luxembergerli is a smaller, lighter version of the macaron. They are heaven in a bite but unfortunately are best eaten immediately. Upstairs is a cafe that offers incredible pastries and drinks. It is the perfect place rest one’s feet from all the chocolate shopping.