…by being freakin’ delicious. End of story. Blog post completed. You can get back to your online shopping now.
That explanation isn’t adequate enough for you? Goodness, you’re all so demanding.
Sure, Lindt chocolate tastes amazing, and being one of the most successful chocolate companies in the world is a feat onto itself. Historically, however, Lindt gave a far greater gift to the world of chocolate. One of their inventions changed the way that chocolate was processed, which greatly improved its consistency, texture and taste. Before delving too deeply into this process, let’s take a quick peak at the history of Lindt…
It all began in a small pastry shop in Zurich in 1845. Confectioner David Sprüngli-Schwarz, and his 29 year old son Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann dared to try something different – to make chocolate in the new fashion that was coming out of Italy – in solid block form. This was significant, because up until that point in time, people consumed chocolate almost exclusively as a drink.
With the retirement of Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann in 1892, the business was divided between his two sons. The younger, David Robert, received two confectionery stores under the name Confiserie Sprüngli. The elder brother, Johann Rudolf, received the chocolate factory. In 1899, Johann acquired the chocolate factory of Rodolphe Lindt in Bern, and the company changed its name to United Bern and Zurich Lindt & Sprungli Chocolate Factory Ltd. This name should be becoming somewhat familiar now.
So why was Rodolphe Lindt’s factory so attractive to Johann? To answer that we’ll have to go back it up a bit.
Rodolphe Lindt was only 24 years old when he became a master chocolate confectioner. In 1879 he purchased two fire-damaged factories and a few outdated machines. His intention? To manufacture a chocolate which would stand out amongst other products on the market. At that time, chocolate was a brittle, rough-surfaced and somewhat bitter substance that were laboriously pressed into moulds by hand.
Eventually, the brothers developed a new kind of chocolate that was far superior to its predecessors. It had a dark and velvety matte gleam, an enticing flavour, it moulded easily and melted on the tongue. They named it ‘chocolate fondant’, which translates to ‘melting chocolate’.
There are two conflicting tales regarding the development of the fondant.
The first is that the brothers intentionally used their machines to stir the chocolate, uninterrupted, for three days and three nights.
The second is that they forgot to turn off their churning devices over the weekend. Luckily the result was delicious and revolutionary, as opposed to an unmitigated disaster. Regardless, Lindt’s discovery made a decisive contribution to both Swiss and Lindt chocolate’s international reputations.
The brother’s development came to be known as conching – a process of churning and stirring chocolate paste for long hours, with the addition of cocoa butter while the paste is being warmed by internal friction. A modern rotary conche can process 3 to 10 tonnes of chocolate in less than 12 hours.
So, thank you Lindt for improving the world of chocolate for us all, as well as continuing to be delectable 200 years later.
One final question – what is everyone’s favourite Lindt product?