Top five Swiss chocolate confiseries
Get a taste of the real stuff in Geneva, at some of the most delectable addresses in Switzerlandby Henry Neuteboom
Few scents in life are as recognizable as the fragrance of chocolate. Just a whiff of chocolate from a bakery, and you know what it is, and you want it! The smell starts a neurological bell ringing, and it will linger in your head until you satisfy that irresistible request. Its versatility is incredible: rich chocolate pralines, truffles or a rich chocolate bar...
This chocolate shop is well worth a visit for its Place du Bourg-de-Four location, a beautiful square where you can enjoy Confiserie Arn’s sweets with a cup of tea or its famous hot chocolate. Specialities includechocolate bars, such as dark chocolate with orange, 40 types of pralines, truffles and champagne truffles, as well as an amazing selection of savoury and sweet specialities with which you can enjoy a delicious light meal. The tea room is open every day, while the shop is closed on Sundays.
LUXOS Recommends: Plaque Grand Cru, a classic chocolate bar
Place du Bourg-de-Four ,12
Tel. +41 (0)22 3104 094
Seven generations of the Favarger family have been making chocolate since 1826. They first opened a factory on the island on the Rhône river, using hydraulic energy to power their machinery. Today, they perform the entire chocolate-making process in-house: selecting the cocoa beans, roasting, grinding and blending them, crafting the chocolates, and packaging them. You can see the exquisite results of their dedication at their shop on Quai des Bergues, very close to the island on which the company was founded.
LUXOS Recommends: Avelines, a sumptuous blend of chocolate and hazelnuts
Quai des Bergues, 19
Tel. +41 (0)22 7381 826
Du Rhône Chocolatier
Monsieur Pertuiset founded his chocolaterie at number 2, Rue du Rhône in 1875. Soon after, demand for his pralines was so high that his Belle Epoque customers caused countless traffic jams with their horse-drawn carriages. Later in history, some of the maison's precious recipes were stolen, and from then on, have locked up in a safe. The chocolaterie has become a favourite with visitors, including high profile personalities in history such as Grace Kelly, Yul Brynner and Winston Churchill.
LUXOS Recommends: Moccas glacés, the house speciality
Rue de la Confédération, 3
Tel. +41 (0)22 3115 614
Dolf Teuscher began making chocolates over 70 years ago. Today it still uses the finest natural ingredients to craft chocolates that are exported worldwide. Over 100 varieties of chocolates using original recipes have been handed down over the generations. Visit them and taste their specialities at the Geneva boutique, open from Monday to Saturday. There are also two shops in Zurich - one on Bahnhofstrasse 109 and the flagship on Storchengasse 9, located in a building dating back to 1647.
LUIXOS Recommends: Truffes au Champagne
Rue du Rhone, 2
Tel. +41 (0)22 3108 778
This is one of the oldest chocolate shops in Geneva. Opened by Henri Auer in 1939, it is still a family-run business with Philippe Auer at the helm today. Henri created one of the signature products, Pavé Glacé of Geneva, in 1940. All the specialities of the maison are made by hand, using chocolate with a high cocoa content. Its black truffles are hand-coated, which is hard to find nowadays. Another speciality are its Ganaches, which have a pralines and cream centre with chocolate coating. The Grenoble version is topped with half a walnut.
LUXOS Recommends: Hand-made truffles and the famous Amandes Princesses
Auer Chocolatier SA
Rue De Rive, 4
Tel. +41 (0)22 3114 286
Follow this link to see Arnold Schwarzenegger in action at Auer Chocolatier in Geneva!
An extra bite
For any great chocolatier the origin of the cocoa is of vital importance. The taste of cocoa beans is greatly affected by the environment in which they are grown. There are 3 main types of cocoa, forastero (the most common type mostly found in Africa), criollo (the rarest and most expensive, native to Central American countries) and trinitario (a hybrid of these two types).
True chocolatiers don’t just purchase chocolate and make truffles. They are in close contact with the cocoa plantations, selecting and purchasing the beans with utmost care, and only then making chocolate according to time-honoured and often secret recipes. Tasting chocolate of this quality is a unique experience.