Chocolate Roundup #9: Switzerland, UK, USA, Poland

Not a day goes by that I don’t have at least a few squares of dark chocolate.  It’s often one of my old standbys, like Felchlin 65%, Ballenberg with salted pistachios or Lindt with fleur de sel.   But most of the time, I am tasting new brands from Switzerland and all over the world.  With a recent birthday and lots of chocolatey care packages coming my way, my chocolate stash was overflowing – even more so than usual.  That means one thing… time for a new roundup ! Don’t forget to let me know what you’ve been tasting too.

Let’s start with my favorite new find, chocolate bars from Hausammann bakery in Zürich.  They may be known for having the city’s best zopf (arguable, of course), but it’s now my go-to address for chocolate.  Standing on line for bread one day, I noticed a whole array of chocolate bars in the corner with Felchlin’s signature Grand Cru emblem.  I quickly gave up my spot to check it out, and I’m so glad I did.  Using Felchlin’s couverture, Hausammann puts their personal touch on it thereafter – several varieties of milk chocolate with wild berries, caramel or hazelnuts and a few dark bars as well. I of course grabbed the latter, one of which was dark chocolate with vanilla and nougat. A very thick bar, no where near stingy on the nuts and a real homemade feel to it.  Perfect for a sweet afternoon snack.

Hausammann Schokolade, CHHausammann Schokolade, CHHausammann Schokolade, CHHausammann Schokolade, CH

There were also a few bars with a more sleek and classic Felchlin style packaging, using the traditional 10-square mold (that I also noticed at La Violette in Murten/Morat).  The only dark chocolate was with peppermint, a thin bar with a perfect snap and an addicting crunch from small mint pieces.  This may be too sweet for some, but I didn’t mind it at all.  If you break up the squares, the loud clinking sound reminded me of the pieces to a game of checkers.  That’s good tempering.  I went back the next day and got a few more of this bar.  (And by the time you are reading this, I will probably already have to return again.)

Hausammann Schokolade, CHHausammann Schokolade, CHHausammann Schokolade, CHHausammann Schokolade, CH

A fan of dark chocolate and mint (as in Chocolove’s peppermint bar too), I was excited to try yet another brand doing this combination.  British chocolate company, Divine, is perhaps best known for its use of chocolate from Ghana, as is proudly announced on the packaging.  Reading the ingredients on any of their bars, you’ll see that they use Fairtrade cocoa, Fairtrade cocoa butter and Fairtrade sugar; and happen to have introduced the very first Fairtrade chocolate bar to the UK market back in 1998.  I was pleasantly surprised when I bit into this thick and very smooth dark chocolate with tiny crunchy pieces made from sugar and peppermint oil.

Divine Chocolate, UKDivine Chocolate, UKDivine Chocolate, UKDivine Chocolate, UK

I love textures in chocolate, especially when that’s from caramelized nut praliné, crisp feuilletine, pretzels… and even toasted bread crumbs.  Reminiscent of Theo’s Bread and Chocolate Bar, Chuao Chocolatier in San Diego, California has a dark chocolate bar made with toasted panko bread crumbs and sea salt. There’s a warning right on the packaging itself, that it will remind you of pain au chocolat and chocolate covered pretzels, thus irresistible.  Venezuelan brothers Michael and Richard Antonorsi, have it as their mission to create “unusual, unexpected and delicious flavors.” With this panko bar, mission accomplished !  Likewise with their dark chocolate with coffee and anise; the firecracker, dark chocolate with chipotle, salt and popping candy; and their latest, a milk chocolate bar with kettle-cooked potato chips (watch how it’s made). Now if they can just make their potato chip and honeycomb bars in dark chocolate, it would be my mission accomplished.

Chuao Chocolate, USAChuao Chocolate, USAChuao Chocolate, USAChuao Chocolate, USA

Last but not least, the wild card in this chocolate roundup… from Poland !  There has been chocolate from Croatia (Kras), chocolate from New Zealand (Schoc) and even chocolate from Slovenia (Piranske Soline); and now the same friend that brought me back the last two, recently returned from a trip to Krakow.  I can’t say I had ever tasted Polish chocolate before, so I was really excited to try it (despite a bit of blooming it looked like it underwent). Krakowski Kredens has a wide array of traditional sweets and a few chocolate bars, including “milk chocolate with bison grass”… anyone ever try that ?!  For me, it was dark chocolate with salt, my favorite combination.

Salt, in chocolate as in baked goods, is there to enhance the natural flavors and sweetness, but unfortunately, this bar was simply too salty.  So while the balance wasn’t quite right and the quality didn’t exactly compare to that of Felchlin above, I still got a real kick out of trying it (and finishing it) and adding the wrapper to my forever growing collection of chocolate bar packaging from around the world. What will be the next new country that I add ?  Only time and travels will tell…

Krakowski Kredens Chocolate, PolandKrakowski Kredens Chocolate, PolandKrakowski Kredens Chocolate, PolandKrakowski Kredens Chocolate, Poland

Past Chocolate Roundups:

Chocolate Roundup #1: Croatia, USA, Austria, Switzerland
Chocolate Roundup #2: Switzerland, Spain, Italy
Chocolate Roundup #3: France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland
Chocolate Roundup #4: Caramel & Salt
Chocolate Roundup #5: France, Belgium, Switzerland, USA
Chocolate Roundup #6: Please Pass the Salt
Chocolate Roundup #7: France, USA, New Zealand
Chocolate Roundup #8: Switzerland, Italy, USA

18 Responses to “Chocolate Roundup #9: Switzerland, UK, USA, Poland”

  1. Marlen says:

    Kerrin, you are a true chocolate connaisseur who never seizes to amaze
    me 🙂 The Chuao Chocolatier’s bars (Panko, Coffee&Anise, Firecracker) seem to be calling my name…

  2. Emma says:

    Chuao is in possession of a really lovely mold, eh?

    I’m not a minty sort of person, but I can appreciate that you enjoyed the two mint-enthused bars above. The vanilla nougat looks great, its so chock full… Honestly now: how many times did you stand in line there before noticing the chocolate bars in the corner? I bet it was your first trip;)

  3. Kiki says:

    Well finally a post that does NOT call my name…. I do not like mint chocolate and as much as I love the smell of mint and the taste of mint chewing gums, my throat and digestive system don’t go along with anything minty… No mint tea, no mint sauce, no mint chocolate. There…
    However I am happily and fully agreeing with you on black chocolate. Anything that comes in black chocolate IS good… Hero Husband had a ‘death by chocolate’ moment about 10 days ago when I nearly had to order a crane to get him out of his chair by the time he killed his WONDERFUL chocolate oozing dessert… good news for the heart condition! Then he said: But you know, instant death after eating such a divine dessert is nearly worth it!
    The Polish choc really didn’t appeal to me – too much white coating… :/ – The wrappers and looks of the others however – yep – I’m already half-way there…. – but no, it’s mint chocolate!
    My personal experiences with English fairtrade chocs haven’t always been a great hit; but I also found some wonderful ‘made in England’ chocolate, so I won’t be too negative… If ever you have a chance to stay for a moment in UK, try to order from Hotel Chocolat – HH and I got the first ones from a Swiss friend who lives in UK for over 50 years and we were hooked from that moment onwards. Even now we order a small parcel for our friend for her birthday!

  4. wandering educators says:

    have you have the dark chocolate from the skellig chocolate company, co kerry, ireland? the one with sea salt was delicious. but this, this roundup? makes me HUNGRY.

  5. Kerrin says:

    Marlen, those Chuao bars are making a lot of noise then, because I hear them calling MY name ! =)

    Emma, ok ok, if the truth must come out, then so be it. First time I went, let’s just put it this way… I went home without any bread. 😉

    Kiki, oh no, a post that does *not* call your name ?! 🙁 Ok, no mint for you, got it ! That oozing chocolate dessert your husband had must have been outstanding – what was it exactly ? I have heard of Hotel Chocolat, but haven’t tasted any of their products. As for chocolate that’s “made in England,” definitely check out these below, some excellent brands in the UK:
    https://mykugelhopf.ch/2010/06/london-chocolate/

    wandering educators, I don’t believe I have ever had Irish chocolate before (need to add Ireland to a future roundup for sure !), thanks so much for sharing. Hope to taste their dark chocolate with sea salt ! They have some interesting flavors – gin & tonic, Irish honey, rose & pistachio… But hey, did you see – a fire destroyed their factory last year and they’ll only be reopening later this month: http://www.skelligschocolate.com/

  6. Romy says:

    Aww too bad the Polish one wasn’t as delicious as the others – although I have to say those salt chunks looked pretty big to me too, so I’m not surprised that you say it was too salty. The blooming may have been since I bought it in June and didn’t get a chance to bring it to you until the end of August. Whoops!

    Another great roundup, as usual! 🙂

  7. Jen Laceda says:

    Hello Kerrin the chocolate lover and expert,
    Once again, you’ve managed to inform and entice me. Now, I am going to grab me some Lindt dark chocolate for dessert! Wait, Polish chocolate with “bison grass?” Are we talking in English here? As in “bison grass?” Lol!

  8. Caroline says:

    Oh perfect timing with your post! I am going to visit some friends abroad soon and wasn’t sure which chocolate to bring as a gift. The Hausammann will be perfect! It looks gorgeous and delicious. Thanks for posting!

  9. Silvia says:

    I love reading your chocolate roundups! And thank you for informing me that Hausamann now also sells their own chocolate… I only remember seing Pamaco bars there. That means I need to go there and get myself some before I move.

  10. kelli says:

    “potato chip and honeycomb bars”?! My day, er, month, er, LIFE has just been made.

  11. Kerrin says:

    Romy, no worries at all about the blooming, again it was SO cool to taste chocolate from Poland and I was so excited that you thought about me in Krakow !! Thank you Romy, and so glad you enjoyed the roundup too ! 🙂

    Jen, your guess is as good as mine, haha !

    Caroline, my pleasure ! Hope you and your friends enjoy the chocolate !

    Silvia, thank you ! Definitely head over to Hausammann and let me know what you get ! Can’t wait to see your beautiful pictures of the bars on your website…

    kelli, seriously. Have you already ordered a few bars (cases) ?? 😉

  12. Ilana says:

    I am in heaven! And totally craving chocolate right now! Another wonderful roundup.

  13. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    I look forward to each and every post, but your chocolate posts are my favourite! 🙂

    This is no exception.

    Unlike Kiki, I’m a MASSIVE fan of chocolate and mint. So would be happy to polish off that bar with you.

    Speaking of Polish, not a country that springs to mind for chocolate, but why not, I suppose?

    Maybe like ‘New World wines’ we now have ‘new world chocolates’? Unless that’s already a thing? It would be great to see more chocolates from those less traditional countries. 🙂

  14. Sarah says:

    You know what is important in life! As for mint chocolate, I love it but Israelis in general think it tastes like toothpaste (although they drink gallons, eh liters of lemonana, lemon-mint drink)

  15. Kerrin says:

    Ilana, chocolate heaven, the very best ! 🙂 So what did you have the other day when you got that craving ???

    Julia, love hearing how much you enjoy the chocolate roundups, thank you ! And don’t you worry, there will always be more to come… you ready for #10 already ?! 🙂 I’ll keep your comment in mind and try to introduce chocolate from as many places as possible. As for chocolate and mint, I grew up with Andes chocolate mints, mint lentils, mint chocolate chip ice cream, After Eights… oh and more recently discovered Fazermint chocolate creams in Helsinki – I love it too !

    Sarah, definitely !! Funny that Israelis think of mint chocolate as toothpaste. Actually, that would be a delicious toothpaste flavor… haha ! Better than French toothpaste, which all tastes like licorice/anise, yuck. 😉

  16. Katrin says:

    I’m a little late to the party, but you absolutely need to know that the hotel Victoria-Jungfrau is offering chocolate-making classes to the kiddies of their guests. I think you could do a post about sneaking in as a really tall 12-year-old… 😉

  17. Piotr says:

    Greetings from Poland, Kerrin. There is more marketing than chocolate in Krakowski Kredens products. Their chocolate is premium-priced, but not really of premium quality.

    You should try Polish chocolate bars from artisanal & organic bean-to-bar chocolate maker called “Manufaktura Czekolady”, visit http://www.chrisandtomschocolate.com/ for info in English.

  18. Food News Daily: September 21, 2011 | The Rambling Epicure says:

    […] Chocolate Roundup #9: Switzerland, UK, USA, Poland, MyKugelhopf […]

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