Switzerland – Island Donkey

Confectionary Dream

Well, we began our layover in Switzerland with a helping of cheese fondue and today we move onto dessert in the form of Swiss chocolate. The Swiss are the world’s largest consumers of the sweet stuff and therefore, are home to some of the greatest chocolate factories in existence. Let’s take a look at some of those famous confectionaries:

Cailler

After learning the art of chocolate manufacturing in Italy for four years, François-Louis Cailler opened Switzerland’s first factory in 1819. In 1875, Cailler’s son-in-law, chocolatier Daniel Peter (ironically, this dude’s name features both the Sip Advisor’s and Broski Sip’s names), concocted the brilliant idea of combining his chocolate with Henri Nestlé’s condensed milk, thus creating milk chocolate, which is by far the best chocolate in existence. Things came full circle in 1929, when the Cailler company was absorbed by Nestlé, which had grown to be one of the world’s largest manufacturing conglomerates after Henri Nestlé sold his company to fellow associates.

Swiss Chocolate Smothered

Suchard

Phillippe Suchard opened Switzerland’s second chocolate factory in 1826 and struggled to keep the business running until a mass order of his creations by Frederick William IV, King of Prussia, in 1842. Suchard selected the unique packaging colour of purple, believing that it would separate his products from others and eventually became the largest chocolate producer by the end of the 19th century. After Suchard passed away in 1884, his company created the Milka product, which is immensely popular in Europe. Today, Kraft Foods owns Suchard’s factory.

Lindt

This company produces one of Ma Sip’s favourite lines, the Lindor chocolate balls, which now come in a variety of different flavours, including Peanut Butter, Raspberry, Mint, Coconut, Caramel, Mocha, and so many others. Each style comes wrapped in a different coloured foil. Lindt runs six factories around the world, including facilities in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, and the United States. Swiss tennis star Roger Federer was named Global Brand Ambassador for Lindt in 2012 and now plays his sport solely using the chocolate spheres, walking off courts if they insist on the old fuzzy green tennis ball!

Tobler

Earlier, we looked at one of Ma Sip’s favourite treats and now we get to Pa Sip’s chocolate of choice, Toblerone. Perhaps Toblerone’s greatest mark on the industry came in 1932, when they created the first filled chocolate bars, with the Tobler-O-Rum (I can certainly appreciate their desire to bring liquor into the chocolate game!). Since then, the Toblerone bar has been stuffed with everything from fruit and nut to honeycomb. The company has also played a role in politics, as Swedish Prime Minister candidate Mona Sahlin was bounced from the ballot in 1995, after it was discovered that she had purchased two Toblerone bars using taxpayer money. I only hope the marketing folks at Tobler jumped on this fortuitous occurrence.

Toblerone

Frey

Over 500,000 chocolate bars leave the Frey factory in Aargau, Switzerland every single day thanks to the enterprise’s 2,400 different products. That totals approximately 42,000 tons of the sweet stuff every year. The unicorn head that adorns the company’s logo and labels is a nod to the brothers (Max and Robert Frey) family crest. The siblings started the business in 1887. Frey makes six million Easter bunnies each year and has given their line of rabbits the names Sunny, Funny, and Lucky. The company also dabbles in chewing gum just in case people ever stop eating chocolate!

Teuscher

Teuscher outlets can be found around the world, including posts in New York City, Toronto, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Berlin, and a number of other major cities (I’ll concede, just this once, that Toronto is, in fact, a major city). Teuscher is perhaps most famous for their Champagne Truffles, which the company invented. The treat uses Dom Perignon champagne in its recipe, meaning it’s the candy choice of thug rappers everywhere. Despite their operations being run out of Zurich, the company also bakes popular cookies (a gingerbread-esque offering) for the city of Basel, Switzerland, a top rival to Zurich.

Switzerland: Island Donkey

Island Donkey Martini

  • 1 oz Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • 0.5 oz Goldschlager
  • Garnish with Swiss Chocolate

After all that chocolate talk, I need a nice cold glass of milk to wash it all down. This drink may do the trick, as well, but I’m not sure how well it will pair with the Lindor and Toblerone snacks I’ve put aside for my own enjoyment!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m not a fan of the name of this cocktail, but it did allow me to find a Goldschlager recipe that included chocolate, which goes perfectly with the theme of this article. The drink was a little thicker than I would have liked, but I couldn’t complain about its flavours. I used some Toblerone Chocolate for the garnish and that’s always an enjoyable element!

Turkey – Siege of Constantinople

Morsels and Mouthfuls

It may be the ancestor to my beloved jelly beans and for that alone, one has to appreciate and give thanks to the sweet snack from Turkey. Turkish Delight has a rich history, dating back nearly 250 years. Today, the delicacy has been embraced around the world. Here are some notes of interest as we stop for a quick bite in our Around the World tour:

Natural Viagra

Natural Viagra??? Probably cheaper than the pills, too!

Some stories say that Turkish Delight was created by a powerful sultan for the purpose of enticing his many mistresses. After all, the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach… come on fellas, we all know this to be true. Anyway, the sultan had his kitchen staff prepare the gelatinous dessert and the rest is history. Or is it? Another fable has the treat being created as royal chefs competed for the attention of the sultan, with one cook creating what is now known as Turkish Delight.

The more plausible tale involves a sweet maker named Bekir Efendi moving his operation to Istanbul in 1776 and capitalizing on the notorious sweet tooth of Turkish citizens. Efendi’s Turkish Delights became the hottest item to have, a symbol of wealth and upper class standing. The pleasures were even exchanged by couples as token of love.

Once Efendi’s confections hit the royal palace and the sultan’s mouth, the popularity of the item skyrocketed. Efendi’s store still exists, with new recipes being dreamt up all the time, some including pistachios, walnuts, chocolate, and oranges.

Turkish Delight

From the thriving businesses of Turkey, the Delights have gained a fan base around the world:

Known as lokma (morsel), lokum (mouthful), and rahat-ul hulkum (comfort of the throat) in Turkey, the origins of the name Turkish Delight are said to trace back to a British man, who fell in love with the dessert during visits to Istanbul and purchased cases of the product to be shipped back home under the label ‘Turkish Delight’. It spread throughout Europe’s upper class, being exchanged as presents wrapped in silk handkerchiefs. The treat has also been known as ‘Lumps of Delight,’ long before the Black Eyed Peas forever changed what we thought of when we heard the term lumps.

Across the commonwealth, in places like the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, folks can also get their sweet fix with Fry’s Turkish Delight by Cadbury, although the product varies from the traditional creation.

Turkish Delight is known as rahat in Romania, but because Turkish words were altered to be more harsh, if not entirely eliminated from Romanian language, the term translates to meaning “shit”. Just be cautious, if ever in the country, to not beg for a sweet mouthful of rahat, or else you may find yourself the literal butt of a joke.

Tim+Tam+Turkish+Delight

I want to try this product so bad… combines two things I really enjoy!

In the United States, two Armenian immigrants began manufacturing Aplets and Cotlets in 1930. The Turkish Delight used apples and apricots, respectively with walnuts. In 1984, their Liberty Orchards company based out of Cashmere, Washington added a Fruit Delights line, with strawberry, raspberry, orange, blueberry, peach, cranberry, and pineapple flavours. In recent years, Liberty Orchards has also released more traditional flavours, such as rose-pistachio, orange-blossom-walnut, and rose-lemon. Mrs. Sip and I have been to their factory, along with many trips as a wee little sipper with Ma and Pa Sip. It’s a quaint little place with so many free samples to gorge yourself on and a tour of the production line.

At home, here in Canada, you can get the Nestle chocolate bar Big Turk, which is a delicious blend of pink Turkish Delight and chocolate. Most Bridge Mix packs also contain red and green Turkish Delight balls, along with chocolate-covered peanuts, raisins, almonds, and the other usual suspects.

Turkish Delight is also popular in Greece and Brazil, stretching the treat’s influence around the world.

Its most recognized use in pop culture is in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which sees the character of Edmund Pevensie dying as a result of his addiction to the confection. Despite what some would view as a negative connotation, sales for the product went up after the 2005 film The Chronicles of Narnia was released. Clearly, people are stupid, so let’s have a drink in their honour and sample some Turkish Delight!

Turkey: Siege of Constantinople

Siege of Constantinople Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Raki
  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • Top with Tonic Water
  • Splash of Chile Syrup
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Dash of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish with Orange Zest

In its native land, Turkish Delight is often served with the equally revered Turkish Coffee, but I don’t swing that way, so let’s booze it up instead and finish off an entire box of the dessert before we even realize what’s happening!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I was very curious as to how the Raki and Tonic Water in particular would mix together. It wasn’t as bad as some may fear and when you add the other touches, such as the Chile Syrup and Orange Bitters, you have the making of a unique and interesting cocktail that may not be for everyone, but deserves a chance from those brave enough to experiment.

October 20 – Jolly Rancher

Candy Class

Well friends, the week you’ve all been waiting for is finally here: Candy Cocktail Week! Today we take a crash course on the candy industry thanks to a wonderfully crafted infographic. This proves once again that the Sip Advisor is the only education you need!

How the Candy Industry Started #Candy #Industry #Started #Infographics

Drink #293: Jolly Rancher

Jolly Rancher Drink Recipe

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Midori
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Jolly Ranchers

When you go out and share your newfound knowledge with all you friends, just remember who made you the intelligent candy connoisseur you’ve now become… your welcome!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
Candy Cocktail Week got off to a great start with this drink that actually tastes like the candy. It was hard to get the usual sticky Jolly Ranchers to stay on the glass long enough to snap a couple photos, but I got it done. The Melon Liqueur was particularly nice in this recipe.