| 69 SWEET CHOCOLATE SINS When you explain the concept of chocolate while playing a word association game, Switzerland will certainly be among the rst words uttered. This European country will inevitably come to mind, despite the rst preserved artefacts related to chocolate being linked to the territory of South America. However, many decades had to pass before Christopher Columbus would bring cocao back from the NewWorld to the “old continent”, and then another two centuries were needed before the rst chocolate factories appeared in Switzerland. According to statistics, the average Swiss citizen eats around 23 kilos of chocolate per year. As such, it should come as no surprise that the people of this country top lists of the world’s happiest people, and we should also note that this is actually the nation with the fewest recorded heart attacks. Swiss people use chocolate in all possible forms and on all occasions. They serve it on its own, alongside espresso co ee, sweet wine, whisky or cognac. It comes in the form of standard cubes, tru es, pralines, cakes or sauces. If you want to nd out more about the production of this magical mixture of cocoa, fat, sweeteners and other additives, Switzerland is the right country for you, because in almost every city there is at least one specialised institution where you will be able to observe the entire production process, from the start to the nal stage. Whilst there you also shouldn’t forget an exciting tour on the so-called “Chocolate train” in Zurich, or riding the Golden-Pass Service, which includes visits to dairies, castles and famous factories. The train heads fromMontreux and pauses at Gruyères (where the famous cheese of the same name is produced) before nally arriving at Broc, where guests can tour the “Cailler-Nestlé” factory. The chocolate revolution took place precisely in Switzerland in the 19th century, when François-Louis Cailler invented dark chocolate and Henri Nestlé came up with milk chocolate. This led to the emergence of various ideas for improving chocolate or creating exotic avours, but going the furthest was certainly local Swiss company Delfee, which o ers this delicacy enriched with edible 24-carat gold. This luxury, of course, isn’t adapted to everyone’s wallet, because as much as 500 dollars has to be set aside for just half a kilo of this unusual delicacy. According to statisticians, the average person eats up to 160 kilos of chocolate during their lifetime, and on the shelves of Swiss chocolatiers you’ll undoubtedly nd those that are considered the tastiest in the world. iStock / wmaster890