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One of Switzerland’s most famous exports and undoubtedly the synonym for Swiss quality chocolate is probably the Toblerone. You can find it not only in its birthplace Bern but also in many duty-free shops at international airports such as Rio, New York, Tokyo, or London. Literally a piece of Switzerland at home in the world. But what is the secret behind the famous triangle?
First of all, the name: Toblerone consists of two words: Tobler – the name of the inventor Jean Tobler – and the Italian word torrone, which means honey-almond nougat. The shape: the typical triangle is based on THE symbol of Switzerland – the Matterhorn. If you look at the packaging, you can find it there too. But it wasn’t until 1970, a good sixty years after its invention, that it made it onto the packaging. Before that, first, an eagle and later the Bernese bear could be seen. If you look closely, you can still see it today. The Matterhorn has its very own snow pattern – just take a closer look!
The typical triangle shape is not a tribute to the Matterhorn but represents dancers of the Cabarets Folies Bergères in Paris. At the end of the show, they form a pyramid, and so does our Toblerone. A few more fun facts about the Toblerone are, by the way, that we eat a total of 62,000 km a year – if you were to lay down, every Toblerone sold one after the other. These are also available in ten sizes, with the longest Toblerone measuring one full meter. In 2008 the Toblerone celebrated its 100th birthday, and I bet you still eat the chocolate wrong! Most people still break the triangles off the front of the box. But the right thing to do would be to press the triangle at the top against the rest of the box, and so you can easily break off the first piece for eating. Don’t forget, we told you how!
There are now eleven varieties of Toblerone: white, dark, or crunchy almond – with salted almonds. The original, as well as the delicious variations, are still produced in the chocolate factory here in Bern Brünnen. Unfortunately, there are no guided tours here, but if er have our way, we’d much rather eat the Toblerone than see how it is made. So the best thing is to take the Toblerone home with you. And with a personalized packaging, you have an ideal gift!