An experience to savor
Cailler tasting room
The mouth-watering aroma of fine chocolate fills the room: freshly made classic milk bars and exotic pieces, dark and white samples, multi-flavored and pralines create a feast for the senses. And we can savor them all!
What sounds like an aphrodisiac dream or children's fairy tale was a true experience my family enjoyed in a degustation room of the Maison Cailler in Broc, located in canton Fribourg. Our Cailler adventure was so otherworldly that my children beg us to go back on a regular basis and even my hard-to-impress Swiss husband was captivated by all we discovered and tasted. After nine or ten different pieces had melted in my mouth I did get rather nauseous, so self-restraint is recommended.
But you don't have to be a chocoholic to enjoy: the Maison Cailler official tour includes curious bits of history, geography, manufacturing and theatrical presentations…There's something new to explore for everyone.
History of Callier
Maison Cailler in Broc, Fribourg
The modern chocolate industry was born near Vevey with the development of solid chocolate bars by Francois Louis Cailler, who set up the first Swiss chocolate factory in 1819.
His development of a smooth chocolate that could be formed into bars became a worldwide sensation, as chocolate had existed exclusively in liquid form before Cailler's innovation. In 1875, Cailler's son-in-law Daniel Peter had the idea of combining the chocolate with his neighbor Henry Nestlé's condensed milk. The introduction of milk chocolate spread rapidly. In 1929, Cailler became a brand of the Nestlé group.
Today, the original Cailler factory building hosts the headquarters of the brand. The complete production process: from bean to bar takes place locally. Curiously, Cailler produces the only Swiss chocolate still made with freshly condensed milk from the alpine region, while all other large chocolate manufacturers use powdered milk.
"It's a privilege to work for a chocolate brand with so much history, the oldest Swiss chocolate brand in existence, the one with an amazing story to tell, located in a picture-perfect region," says Ms. Fleur Helmig, Maison Cailler business manager.
The Maison Cailler Vistor Center
The Maison Cailler innovative visitor center opened in 2010. Here, guests can take part in an animated theatrical show about the history of chocolate, experience first-hand every stage in the Cailler chocolate production process, hold and compare roasted cacao beans of all shapes and origins and watch live as chocolate ingredients are processed. There are also various scrumptious chocolate-making workshops, a multi-media presentation in the in-house cinema and a fun outdoor treasure hunt for the lost Cailler recipe. It's a uniquely entertaining and interactive way to discover the chocolate manufacturing process, history, recipes and people that made Cailler chocolate legendary.
No wonder, this place has quickly become one of most popular attractions in the country with 400,000 visitors a year and tours available in eight languages.
The visit and all-you-can-taste chocolate buffet is free for children under 16. Adults pay a mere CHF 12 admission fee. And Cailler employees are allowed to relish those sweet creations to their hearts' content.
Photos: © Maison Cailler