So let’s talk about the next best thing you can get in Switzerland: Chocolates.

Mmm, chocolates. Particularly, Cailler (pronounced “kah-yey”) chocolates — the oldest Swiss chocolate brand founded way back in 1819 that melts the hearts (and in the mouth) of many chocolate lovers until today.

I went to Maison Cailler in Broc, Gruyère, to find out how François-Louis Cailler produced the world’s first chocolate bar.

The fine milk from the region, the top quality cocoa, the skill and the secrets behind chocolate manufacture and the wide range of products make Cailler one of the best-known and best-loved Swiss chocolate companies.
My camera failed to take a jumping shot of all of us (Carl, Alvin, myself and Brad). But as you can tell from this photo, we were all pretty stoked to be here! Blue skies, big smiles.
Scream yay for Cailler!

Welcome to Maison Cailler! I was welcomed by this huge wall of chocolates that shelved the most impressive range of Cailler chocolates, in several delectable flavors at the gift shop.

Most of us probably have dreamt about going to a chocolate factory, at least at some point in our lives. Nestle gave me the golden ticket to live that dream…

What’s your weakness?
The chocolate tour takes you through the origins of chocolate, the early days of the factory and the history of the Maison Cailler. A veritable sound and light spectacular, the show takes you on a magical journey through the tantalizing world of chocolate.

DID YOU KNOW THAT the first milk chocolate was discovered as a beverage? The secret ingredient to making it into a chocolate bar like we are used to today is COCOA BUTTER. When added to chocolate mixture,  it creates a solid chocolate bar.

The history of chocolate goes back a long way. Many years ago, the Maya Indians lived in Guatemala in Central America. They moved from Guatemala to the south-central part of Mexico. The Maya Indians took the cacao plant and beans with them. This plant grew in the rain forest. The Mayan people made a powder from the cacao beans. They then made a drink from the cocoa powder.

This drink was very bitter and the Mayans used it as a medicine for coughs and fever. Later, the Aztec people began to rule Mexico. They found out about the cocoa drink and called it ‘xocalatl’. And that’s where the word chocolate comes from.

BOOM! History class on chocolates for you choco-lovers.

Getting to know more about one of my favorite desserts…
Sampling the different types of cocoa beans and nuts used in chocolates.
When’s the best time to eat chocolate? For me, it’s after a workout. Not everyday, of course! A kid wrote ‘Star Wars’ — totally something 8 year-old Charles would say.
Mint dark chocolates… An occasional treat for the fitness freak. What’s your favorite flavor of xocolatl?
After the interactive tour on the history of chocolates, and exploring the fine ingredients used to produce it, we finally made it to the factory floor, where you can see for yourself how chocolate is made.

From machine to wrapper then straight into my mouth!

The original Cailler milk chocolate was such a treat for my tastebuds.
The best part of the tour was at the end, when we walked into this chocolate sampling room. At least 30 different types and brands of chocolate by Nestle were in display. ALL FRESH!

My mouth began to water. I held back as much as I could, but some of them looked too good to pass on. I finally caved after I saw a giant tray of Cailler’s Ambassador noir (dark) chocolates. It was all over from there. I had one after another!

Don’t just eat it. Savor it!
Cailler chocolates are sold exclusively in Switzerland. The perfectly cool climate in Switzerland makes it easy on the shelf-live for Cailler chocolates as it stays fresh. Time to stock up!

After picking up a few souvenirs at the store, Christine surprised us with special a treat to Les Sifflet for cheese fondue.

Appetites whetted, it’s time to eat a full meal.
Most menus I’ve seen were in French so if you’re planning to visit, make sure you have a French-English dictionary handy!
Okay, I’ll admit this: I didn’t just have a cheat meal or a cheat day… I had a cheat week during this trip 😛
Every time they brought out the fondue it was accompanied by marching music, a huge Swiss flag and two staff members decked out in general hats.
I wasn’t worried about my fitness. Just learning to live a little!

 Wrapping up my amazing journey with Nestle on my next post. Hang tight!

2 thoughts on “Good Food, Good Life: Mmm, Chocolates… (Part 2/3)

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