Just like a dream, I was recently invited by Swiss Tourism, Maison de Voyage and Rock-On Holidays by Thomas Cook India to experience Switzerland in a unique way. While enough has been said and written about the romantic / family vacations of Switzerland our idea was to leave out all the famous / touristy activities and instead explore this country through a new lens i.e. through the eyes and activities of a single budget traveler. Hence our itinerary included all kinds of adventure sports, walks and many new experiences that people normally don’t associate with Switzerland. And I continue my tales from where I left it in my previous post.
After returning from Niederhorn, we met our host Annie from Interlaken Tourism who took us for a show that she promised would be an utter delight and a unique treat. And she was not wrong. We went to Cafe Schuh that is located in the heart of Interlaken and is one of the oldest cafes in Interlaken. They have full a service restaurant, a cafe and a patisserie, but what we were here for was their “Chocolate Show”. Every evening, sharp at 5pm, they organize a chocolate show wherein their chefs show you how chocolates are made and the secret behind the unique “melt in the mouth” taste of Swiss chocolates.
The chef then showed us the most important process that gives Swiss chocolate its unique taste i.e. Refining and Conching. The blended chocolate goes through a refining process involving heavy rollers, that grinds down and blends the particles and improves the texture. And then chocolate goes through conching. A
conch is a kind of container in which the chocolate mass is continually kneaded and further smoothed, the fractional heat produced by this process keeps the chocolate liquid. The length of time given to the conching process determines the final smoothness and quality of chocolate. And l
astly the chocolate is tempered where it
goes through a very precise cycle of heating and cooling to encourage the stable crystal formation needed for good tasty chocolate.
We then saw actual chocolate being made right in front of us which was not that difficult. This liquid chocolate was then filled into the moulds, then removed and the thin layer of chocolate was cooled. Then chocolate was filled in this mould again, a small beating by the side was given to remove the bubbles. This mould was then cooled and post that fresh mouth watering chocolate was removed from molds.
We made and sampled some nice chocolate truffles and a chocolate sandal too 🙂 But the best was for saved for the last. We all got a chocolate lollipop (with almond and hazelnut filling) that we dipped in heavenly liquid chocolate and topped with toppings of our choice such as pistachio, candies, etc and then ate it (like kids) all the way out. The best way to end any show, I must say 🙂 I am sure we all put on quite a few pounds that day, but I now know the basics of making chocolate and shall definitely try to recreate some of it at home with my choice of additives and toppings 🙂
Tips for the Trip –
1. The chocolate show takes place every day at 17:00 hrs sharp (not India time) and you can check their website for more information here. While we were all adults and loved the show, if you have kids then a visit here is mandatory 🙂
2. You can visit as a single person or as a group, but do not forget to call and reserve in advance.
3. A chocolate show ticket costs 14.80 CHF, and 8.00 CHF is the given as a voucher to purchase more of this awesome chocolate. Their can never be anything as too much chocolate, now can there? 🙂