Le Salon du Chocolat, Zürich

salon du chocolat 14.collage

The Salon du Chocolat is the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate and this year was the first time the event came to Zurich, Switzerland.

One of the organisers of the event was Kerrin Rousset of the delightful Swiss food and travel blog, My Kugelhopf. She and her colleagues did a fantastic job in introducing some truly wonderful French chocolatiers and pastry chefs to Switzerland, as well as bringing together some local names for what was a really successful and enjoyable event.

With over 30 stalls, visitors were able to sample a variety of artisanal chocolates on offer, ask questions about the ingredients used and techniques employed, and generally enjoy the visual displays on offer. The event was a chocolate-lover’s dream and I hope it will return to Zurich next year!

{Confiserie Honold is a small establishment with a popular, somewhat retro, café in the heart of Zurich. Their chocolates are exquisite. I sampled the strawberry white chocolate, and also the latté macchiato. Delicious!}
{The macarons from Martel Chocolatier give Ladurée some cause for concern! Those that we sampled were light and chewy with centres bursting with flavour. Their selection of chocolate bark (or mendiant) were surprising and gave me some ideas to try at home ;-)}
{Chocolats Camille Bloch are the makers of one of my favourite chocolate bars, Ragusa, a tablet of chocolate with a praline filling and whole hazelnuts. The dark chocolate version is quite simply one of the best chocolate bars I have ever eaten. I really enjoyed their stall where they had a chocolatier demonstrate how one of their chocolate bars are made.}
{I was quite excited to see Comptoir du Cacao at the exhibition, mainly because our aunt has gotten into the habit of giving us a box of their pralines every year at Christmas, something which we always enjoy. We treated ourselves to a large box of their assorted pralines, and I couldn’t resist buying a jar of their cocoa powder. If you ever come across their stores in France, please, please treat yourself to their delicious chocolates! You won’t be disappointed.}
{Chocolaterie Stettler are based in Geneva, Switzerland, and this was the first time I had come across their chocolates. And oh my! Their pavé just melt in your mouth and their truffles prompted me to ask for a second sample. But I returned the favour with a few purchases so I can enjoy their exquisite delights again at a later time.}
{One of the cute stands at the exhibition was held by Les Gourmandises de Miyuko, a café and pâtisserie boutique in Zurich with Japanese and French influence. There is also a Swiss touch to their chocolate bars, affectionately called “schoggi”, which is the Swiss-German word for “chocolate”. Their bright and creative cakes with sugar-paste and fondant were a delight for the eyes … and now I know where to order a fancy cake should I ever need to.}
{Which wine to pair with chocolate? Mas Amiel had a nice selection of wine on offer for chocolate lovers.}
{Ever wondered what a cocoa bean looks like? São Tomé & Principe had an interesting stand where visitors could learn about cocoa beans and also buy chocolates made from this island country.}
{Chocolate lollipops from La Cuillère Suisse were a hit with both kids and adults alike.}
{The upmarket chocolates from French chocolatier, Christophe Roussel, were just exquisite. Their Earl Grey pralines are something I would love to bring out with coffee when we have guests over.}
{For something a bit different, La Gazelle d’Or had a fantastic display of Moroccan sweets on offer.}
{The popular Parisian Ladurée also had a small stand with a special selection of chocolate and chocolate-inspired macarons on offer, together with an assortment of housemade chocolates. People were constantly swarming over the Ladurée counter that I pretty much had to elbow my way in just to take a few photos! Not to mention that I also wanted to “sample” my favourite macarons! There is always a Caramel Fleur de Sel macaron with my name on it.}
{And last, but not least, one of my favourite local offerings, Confiserie Sprüngli had an impressive counter where chocolatiers set about making truffles for the crowd to watch and sample. I absolutely adore their truffles, a portion of my salary often going towards a small box whenever I feel a treat is deserved. Their salted caramel truffles are not to be missed.}

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  1. Claudine 1 April 2012

    I just died and went to heaven!! 😀
    (Which is precisely what I would do if I ate a mere sample of everything on show – it’s all so tempting!) 😉

    • eat, little bird 1 April 2012

      LOL! I didn’t think it was possible to sample so much chocolate in just a few hours, but if someone is passing a plate of chocolate in front of your face, it would be rude to say no 😉

  2. Caroline 1 April 2012

    I think I just got 10 pounds heavier looking and salivating over all those pictures. I wouldn’t care either if I had been there in person! How fantastic do these look? Brilliant photos, Thanh..what a treat at your doorstep!

    • eat, little bird 1 April 2012

      Thanks, Carrie! It was a nice introduction to both French and Swiss chocolatiers, very important things to know when you live in this part of the world 😉

  3. Jo 2 April 2012

    Now here’s an idea instead of the Good Food Show next year we could all descend upon Zurich for the next choccie fest! Imagine the fun we’d have Thanh – you could take us to all your favourite foodie haunts! I’m reckoning that Sprungli place would be on the tour 😉

    • eat, little bird 2 April 2012

      What a wonderful idea! The Salon du Chocolat is not a big event like the Good Food Show, but I think it is still worth travelling to Zurich for it 🙂 Sprüngli is always on my list whenever we have visitors, though you would need to bring clothes with an adjustable waistline! 😉

      • Jo 2 April 2012

        Lol, as if I have clothes without adjustable waistbands 😉

  4. Liz Headon 2 April 2012

    What an amazing event and a wonderful selection of pictures ! I was surprised about the wine for with chocolate: when I lived in France as a student, I was told firmly “jamais de vin, ni avec le chocolat, ni avec les oranges” ! But times – and fashions in food – change…

    • eat, little bird 2 April 2012

      LOL! Even with oranges? Now I know why my husband loathes the combination of chocolate and orange …

      I have heard that it’s difficult to pair wine with chocolates but my husband quite enjoyed the wine that he tested at the Salon du Chocolat. Interestingly, there was no water on offer for people to drink in between visiting stalls. But, of course, there was wine! 🙂

  5. Reem | Simply Reem 2 April 2012

    What a collection of deliciousness….. Heavenly!!!
    I am so happy you enjoyed this and I am so Jealous too….LOL

    • eat, little bird 4 April 2012

      It was such a wonderful event and I’m happy we have some souvenirs to enjoy in the coming weeks 🙂

  6. serena 3 April 2012

    wooooow!!! your photos are simply wonderful! so tasty and full of grace! This is the kind of event that I love ..

    • eat, little bird 3 April 2012

      Oh thank you, Serena! I also love foodie events like these 🙂 I’m hoping there will be more opportunities later this year!

  7. Rushi 13 April 2012

    OMG, this is a chocolate lover’s paradise. I just can’t wait to stop at Comptoir du Cacao and try out these chocolates and get myself a jar of their cocoa powder as well. I love the Laduree macarons, can never seem to have enough, however I haven’t tried the Caramel Fleur de Sel ones, another excuse to head their. Have you tried the violet macarons?

    • eat, little bird 13 April 2012

      Despite all of the exquisite chocolate on offer, I have to admit that I was most excited to see Comptoir du Cacao, mostly because it is a brand we are familiar with and can only treat ourselves to when in France. So to see them in Zurich was a delight! I haven’t tried baking with their cocoa powder yet but I can’t wait.

      The Caramel avec fleur de sel macarons at Ladurée have a really soft, chewy filling which is quite different to the other flavours on offer. Plus, I have a soft spot for salted caramel 🙂 I have indeed tried the violet macarons and they are delicious! And so are the blackcurrent ones I tried recently, and even the liquorice macarons were surprisingly good … I clearly go to Ladurée too often!

  8. I wish this was on when I visited Zuerich:) Unfortunately not:(
    Next time, maybe:)