Bern, Switzerland is one of my favorite places to visit. I certainly know I can’t afford to live there, as property values in the town that is rated one of the top 10 places to live in the world, and beyond my budget. I can, however, travel on a budget quite well, even in Bern. That is until I come to my favorite chocolate shop.
My first visit to Bern I was taking photographs when my husband rushed out of a shop he had gone in and said “You have to come in there and SMELL!” I was a bit nervous, usually when he wants me to smell something it’s not good. However, he was pulling me into the shop before I could even ask “Smell what?”
As soon as I entered the shop, it hit me. The most delicious, all encompassing, delightful, and mouth watering smell of chocolate I have ever experienced. I wanted to just stand there and luxuriate in it. My nose has never been happier. It was not so strong that is was too sweet. It was, using the only word that can describe it, perfect.
I filmed the shop, but knew unless there was some way to capture smell, no photograph or video could do it justice.
As you can see the shelves are filled with chocolates. Dark chocolates, milk chocolates, chocolates in funny shapes and chocolates in tins. My mother-in-law collects tins, so she is always happy to get a gift from this store. I also make sure I pick out some chocolates in a tin, as storing knitting needles and other knitting supplies in Swiss chocolate tins reminds me of the store long after the chocolates are consumed.
The sheer variety makes shopping here easy. “Oh I know who would love chocolates shaped as Euros!” was said last visit for a friend that works in a bank. Who doesn’t love chocolate, especially Swiss chocolate, no matter what shape it is in?
I am a fan of dark chocolate, a little darker and stronger than most Americans like it. I like to say I like a chocolate that bites me back. I don’t go for the 90% cocoa, as a chocolate without some sweetness reminds me of once biting into my mother’s cooking chocolate. What a surprise that turned out to be! It looked delicious, but I was never attempted again!
My husband also enjoys dark chocolate, but is a big fan of a good Swiss milk chocolate. The only problem with real European chocolates is that they melt very quickly. Cheap US chocolates, which would not even qualify legally in Europe to be called “Chocolate”, melt far more slowly. It just means you need to eat your chocolate up quickly. Good chocolate is not meant to be in your hand, it’s meant to be in your mouth!
While I enjoy buying chocolates in Bern, I also learned that since “chocolate” has to have a higher fat content in Europe to qualify for the name “chocolate” even the cheapest brands are very good. I often buy up Del Haze or another grocery store generic brand of chocolate to give away as gifts. I’ve never had anyone complain about a Coop brand chocolate bar, and instead have only heard compliments.
Looking at my empty chocolate tins filled with knitting supplies, I think next time I probably need to buy two big tins of chocolates. I have a lot more knitting needles and markers and pom pom makers, and could use the storage. It has nothing to do that with 2 tins I would also have twice the chocolates.
- Dark Chocolate Vs. Milk Chocolate – History’s Greatest Rivalry (berries.com)
- The Health Benefits of Chocolate (berries.com)
- Types of Chocolate From Around the World (proflowers.com)
- Maison Cailler Chocolate Flagship Shop (collabcubed.com)