This year not one, but two iconic Swiss chocolate bars celebrate a special birthday. Ragusa turns 75, while Risoletto turns 50. Most Swiss people have fond memories of both, so it’s time to dedicate a celebration post to them!
Risoletto, the Migros cult chocolate bar
Migros has always mostly sold their own brands and somehow they’re very good at doing this. Many Swiss prefer the taste of the Migros products and over the decades, countless Migros products have reached cult status; the Risoletto chocolate bar is one of them. This sweet treat is produced by Migros’ own chocolate factory Chocolat Frey, which produces, for my taste, the best Swiss factory made chocolates. 50 years ago Chocolat Frey created a new chocolate bar containing a caramel centre and a coating made of chocolate and rice crispies and called it Risoletto. Some fun facts – 13’440 Risoletto bars are being produced by Chocolat Frey each day, which makes 2.8 millions per year. The Risoletto rice is being grown in Piedmont (Italy) and processed in Ticino (Switzerland). There’s a great video about the Risoletto production, from the source of the ingredients to the finished product which can be watched here (German). Have you tried a Risoletto yet? If not, get one from your nearest Migros and enjoy a bit of Migros history! Photo: Chocolat Frey
Ragusa, or a story of the WW2 cacao shortages
Ragusa, which has been around for 75 years already, consists of a filling of smooth praline and whole hazelnuts, covered in a layer of chocolate. Unlike most other Swiss chocolate bars, Ragusa is of rectangular shape. It’s creator, the chocolate factory Camille bloch which was founded in 1929 in Bern, was struggling with a shortage of raw materials such as cacao during World War II. The company came up with a brilliant idea for producing a chocolate that partly replaced cacao with hazelnuts; Ragusa, a chocolate bar with ground hazelnuts (praline filling) and whole hazelnuts was born. The mixture was spread in flat moulds and covered with a thin layer of chocolate on both sides, then cut them into rectangular 50-gram bars. I’ve rarely seen them in foreign countries, so Ragusa is a great gift to bring when travelling abroad. These days Ragusa come in various (rectangular) sizes and flavours. Those who know Croatia might know that Ragusa is also a town near Dubrovnik. The factory’s founder Camille Bloch recalled the name of the town which he once had visited on holiday and decided this would make a great name for a chocolate bar, as it sounded good and was compatible with all four Swiss national languages. Photo: Camille Bloch
Slider image source: Cacao, Renée Johnson, Flickr