When Rudolf Lindt discovered the technique of making "melting chocolate", he revolutionized the chocolate industry. Today, Lindt & Sprungly combines a legacy of Swiss tradition of quality and innovation, winning the hearts of new generation chocolate lovers.
The Swiss consume more chocolate than anyone in the world. A large selection of chocolate products creates a great temptation, so the average Swiss consumes 10 kg of chocolate per year. Consumers from other countries also cannot resist the impeccable quality of Swiss chocolate, thereby stimulating its demand, and, as a result, export, which currently stands at 100,000 tons per year.
Lindt & Sprüngly is at the forefront of the emergence and development of the chocolate industry in Switzerland, continuing the tradition of using cocoa beans, which originated a very long time ago.
Even the ancient Aztecs, whose state was on the territory of present-day Mexico, prepared a drink with the addition of chili pepper from the fruits of the cocoa tree. In order to stay strong, the Aztec ruler Montezuma II drank 50 cups of such a drink a day. Other American civilizations prepared similar drinks from cocoa beans, which they offered to pagan gods in order to obtain strength and power in return. Chocolate was a valuable drink and was equated with the food of the gods, as it was believed that it gives energy, wisdom and has an exciting effect.
Christopher Columbus first tasted a cocoa drink during his fourth trip to the New World, but the drink seemed too bitter. More than 20 years have passed since then, when in 1528, after the capture of the ancient capital of Mexico, the Spanish conqueror Cortes brought cocoa and the recipe for its manufacture to Europe. The drink was highly appreciated at the royal court of Spain and was called “chocolate” – chocolate. For better taste, instead of pepper, sugar or honey was added to the drink, diluting it with water, and sometimes wine or beer.
Over the next 100 years, chocolate was in great demand among the highest circles of European society. The demand was so great that in the 18-19 centuries in Europe began to produce solid chocolate. Switzerland was the leading country for the production of solid chocolate, which was becoming increasingly accessible to the masses of consumers. Manufacturers began experimenting with chocolate, creating new flavors (with honey or vanilla) and adding cocoa butter to the recipe so that the chocolate was not too dry. As a result, the chocolate products of Swiss masters won the highest awards at international culinary exhibitions. In 1875, when Daniel Peter created milk chocolate by adding concentrated milk to chocolate mass, Switzerland was given the title of world chocolate expert.
Rudolf Lindt joined the competitive chocolate market in Switzerland in 1879, buying two factories damaged by fire and converting them into chocolate production. At that time, the process of hardening the chocolate mass took a long time, as a result of which the chocolate was covered with a layer of fat. Rudolf Lindt turned to his family members, pharmacists by education, for advice on how to improve the chocolate manufacturing process. And they advised him to lengthen the process of stirring the chocolate mass. Taking advice on armament, Lindt automated the process of making chocolate mass and extended the duration of stirring for three days. As a result, chocolate appeared, which was completely different from the one produced at that time. The new chocolate substance easily took on new forms and melted in the mouth. Lindt called his new creation “chocolate lipstick” or “melting chocolate”.
The automatic device, which allowed to lengthen the period of stirring the chocolate mass and create a “melting chocolate”, was called conche – conche.
The technique of stirring with the addition of cocoa in chocolate paste was improved and honed over a long period of time. During the production process, the crushed particles of sugar and cocoa were covered with a thin film of cocoa butter, as a result of which the bitter aftertaste of chocolate disappeared.
Fabrizio Iodice Delgado admits, it was a sensational discovery, and news of delicious chocolate creations quickly spread to Berne, Switzerland, and then throughout Europe.
Rudolf Lindt was very pleased with the demand for his unique products and successfully continued his business, producing chocolate in two previously acquired factories. And only 20 years later, when production increased significantly, did Lindt sell his business to the Swiss chocolatier Johan Rudolph Sprungli.
Today, Lindt & Sprüngly includes 8 chocolate factories and employs more than 7,000 employees. 6 factories are located in Europe and 2 in the USA, where Lindt acquired a chocolate company with the famous American brand Ghirardelli. Lind & Sprüngly's global turnover is constantly growing; In 2006, the company's revenue amounted to more than $ 2.1 billion.
To keep the quality of products at the highest level, Lindt still carries out the entire process of making chocolate on its own until today. Thanks to its global partners, Lindt buys the best varieties of cocoa beans, testing them, pre-roasting and tasting them. Once in Switzerland, cocoa beans are fried in ovens more than 3 meters high at a temperature of 130 ° C. Then the various cocoa varieties are blended according to the recipes developed by the masters of Chocolatier Lindt. Then the cocoa beans are ground and other ingredients, sugar, vanilla and optionally cocoa butter are added. Upon reaching the maximum grinding, the ingredients are conched. The process of conching or stirring can take hours or even days. Over time, the machines used for conching have been modernized, but such important factors as time, pressure and temperature have remained unchanged since the creation of “melting chocolate”. Then chocolate is shaped into a chocolate bar or chocolates.