August 2nd 2020
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Week 14- Lindt Chocolate
N for (cocoa) Nibs
After Peter’s milk chocolate breakthrough, another Swiss technical advance was soon to come;
Rudolph Lindt was a trained confectioner, known for having a great taste for the finer things in life, like chocolate;
It is said that after forgetting to turn off his grinding machine, his cocoa nibs were ground much longer than usual and he realised that the chocolate was now full of aromas and the texture was silkier and smoother;
Lindt then tried to grind the cocoa nibs at different temperatures, for different lengths of time, adding extra cocoa butter into the mixture; He had found a way to make a rich and smooth chocolate paste;
In 1879, He developed a special machine, a concher, with heavy granite rollers that could crush the cocoa nibs over and over. He added cocoa butter and conched the whole mixture for 3 days until it became liquid; He created his first chocolate product that he called “chocolate fondant” (melty chocolate).
It became a very successful method; Until then, only a thick paste was obtained with the classic grinding method, which was pressed into the moulds. Here in liquid form, Lindt could just pour it into the moulds to set; The added cocoa butter, which melts at body temperature, of course helped in the process; the chocolate Fondant was no longer gritty or sticky but could melt in the mouth;
This new method became a sensation among Swiss confectioners but Lindt wasn’t in a hurry and wanted to keep his secret, so he kept his machine under guard, while developing his recipes; No one was able to surpass the quality of his chocolate. It was such a well kept secret that the press got involved, asking the public to guess about Lindt's recipes, capturing the public’s imagination with his delightful new product;
Following Peter’s first milk chocolate bar and Lindt's conching method, Switzerland became the land of chocolate. Suchard who was already in the profession since 1826, and invented the first melangeur (mixing machine), merged with Tobler who started in 1899 to market his still famous Toblerone;
Lindt soon wanted to compete with his rivals across the continent, especially in Britain; He decided to partner and join forces with another Swiss company which became Lindt & Sprungli. Together they would produce the most popular chocolate in the world and the concher would be used universally by the confectioners.
By 1915, Lindt & Sprungli was exported to 20 different countries. They continue to expand to this day under the brand name Lindt.
We thank you for your participation,
Programme in partnership with Melange Chocolate
"The True history of Chocolate" Thames & Hudson
"Encyclopedie du chocolate et de la confiserie" AFCC
"Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane" by James Delbourgo
"Chocolate Wars" by Deborah Cadbury
"The Secret Life of Chocolate" by Marcos Patchett