Chocolate can come from many places and can be made using a variety of processes. When eating German, Dutch or Swiss chocolate, you will find subtle differences in the brands and national origins of the sweets you eat.
German chocolate is actually not called “German” because of its relationship with the country. German chocolate got its name from Sam German, an American, who made a sweet baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company. Sugar has been added to the chocolate, making it a convenient choice for bakers. It was originally known as “Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate”, but the apostrophe and “s” were soon omitted from “German’s”. German chocolate also lends its name to the famous German chocolate cake that was made with Baker’s German’s Chocolate.
Dutch chocolate is known today among Dutch chocolate makers CJ Van Houten, who invented the cocoa press in 1828. The cocoa press pressed cocoa butter from the beans and treated the cocoa with an alkalizing agent. The agent improved the color and taste of the chocolate. The process was soon called ‘Dutch’, which is why Dutch chocolate is not a process, as is often thought. Dutch chocolate used to be the basis for many chocolate candies, ice cream and baking cocoa. The alkalizing agent makes it easier to disperse in milk and other drinks.
Swiss chocolate is known for its nationality. The Swiss are often considered the European master of chocolate and love chocolate as an art. Milk chocolate was founded in 1875 by the Swiss, followed closely by “melt in your mouth chocolate”. Milk chocolate is also called Swiss chocolate. Swiss chocolatiers have won many awards for their fine chocolates.
While knowing the difference between German, Dutch and Swiss chocolate may not change the way you eat chocolate, it can give you something to think about when buying your next chocolate.