The Birthplace of Milk Chocolate - Vevey, Switzerland


When I used to live near Vevey, which is the birthplace of milk chocolate, I never really thought about the existence of other kinds of chocolate.  Sure, if a friend offered me some Belgium chocolate, I would eat it and maybe even enjoy it, but other types of chocolate just weren’t on my radar.  So, imagine my surprise when people started telling me how lucky I was to be moving to Paris because the French make the best chocolate.  It seemed like blasphemy!

As most French chocolate is proving to be too bitter for my taste, I decided to devote some time to finding out what makes Swiss chocolate so darn delectable.  Remembering that Béatrice Tisserand, the Coordinator of Vacation Housing at the Tourist Office, was researching the history of chocolate in Vevey, I decided to pay her a visit while I was in town.


Béatrice, a former pastry chef with definite ideas about what qualifies as good chocolate, generously offered to take my friend Linda and me on a walking tour of Vevey.  In between answering our questions on how to taste chocolate (it turns out that we had always eaten it too quickly to determine the rate at which it melts and to judge its consistency), Béatrice showed us the site of the first chocolate factory in Switzerland that was built by Francois Louis Cailler in 1819 and the house where Daniel Peter invented milk chocolate in 1875.


When Linda and I told Béatrice that we wanted to do some more practical research, she recommended sampling the chocolates at Durgnat in Villeneuve, Zurcher in Montreux, Augnet in la Tour-de-Peilz, Durig in Lausanne, and Poyet in Vevey.  Both Durig and Poyet offer chocolate workshops for groups that must be scheduled in advance.  All of the pictures of chocolate that are included in this post were taken at Poyet simply because it was the closest to my hotel.

Oh! And what is the secret ingredient that makes Swiss chocolate so irresistibly divine?  It’s the addition of milk from the happy cows that spend their days grazing on the sweet grass and flowers found in the mountainous pastures in Switzerland.


Click on the following for more information:

A related post with photos of Poyet's Charlie Chaplin shoe shaped chocolate pralines

Cailler Chocolate Factory in Broc

Chocolate Train fromMontreux to Broc that includes a visit to the Cailler Chocolate Factory

Chocolate guru David Lebovitz’s blog on Blondel chocolate in Lausanne

Montreux-Vevey TouristOffice

And if you’re still craving chocolate, may I suggest watching the movie, Chocolat, with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.

The birthplace of milk chocolate, 13 Rue des Bosquets, Vevey

The plaque on the house where Daniel Peter created milk chocolate in 1875

rue des Pressoirs 56
1844 Villeneuve

Avenue du Casino 45
1820 Montreux 

Grand-Rue 2
1814 La Tour-de-Peilz

Avenue d'Ouchy 15
1006 Lausanne

Rue du Théâtre 8
1800 Vevey

Comments

  1. inspiring! We have booked the Chocolate train and are really looking forward to our trip to Montreux in June.

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  2. Glad to hear that you found the post helpful. I used to live in Montreux and am almost positive that you'll have a great time there, especially since you've already booked the Chocolate train. We visited the chocolate factory in Broc last summer and managed to eat more than our fair share of chocolate during the tasting. Yum yum!

    Have a wonderful vacation in Switzerland.

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  3. When I posted the link for this blog post on TripAdvisor's Montreux/Vevey forum, Hambagahle, one of the destination experts, posted the following response which I'm copying and pasting here because it has information about two more chocolatiers in Lausanne:

    I'm not sure about the "happy cow" bit! More like "happy cow owners" I think - at least here in the Valais!! You should come to a cow fight one of these days!

    Mary Kay - good to hear from you again. We miss you! And you missed two VERY important hocolatiers in Lausanne - Würthrich, home of the world-famous "Giscard" chocolates (so called because as President of France Giscard d'Estaing had a standing order for them to be sent to the Elysée! And Mojonnier, on the Pont de Chailly - raved about by the food critic of Le Temps. Maybe this gives you an excuse to come back to the region??

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  4. When I asked Hambagahle if I could post her comment on my blog, she replied in the affirmative and included another suggestion:


    Please go ahead and mention Würthrich and Mojonnier on your blog... and though this is not in the Canton de Vaud, you might also mention Schuh in Interlaken. For me, the only reason to go to Interlaken is to buy chocolates at Schuh! And I order their "Tequila, candied lime and salt" chocolates at least once a month by post! AKA Margarita chocolates. They are divine!!

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