What are the differences between German, Dutch and Swiss Chocolate?

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Chocolate can come from many places and can be made using different processes.  When eating German, Dutch, or Swiss chocolates you will find subtle differences in the brands and national origin of the candy you are consuming.

German chocolate is not actually called “German” because of its relation to the country.  German chocolate was given its name from Sam German, an American, who created a sweet baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company.  The chocolate had sugar added to it making it a convenient choice for bakers.  It was originally known as “Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate”, however the apostrophe and “s” were soon left off “German’s”.  German chocolate also lends its name to the famous German Chocolate Cake which was made with Baker’s German’s Chocolate.

Dutch chocolate is known today for Dutch chocolate makers C.J. Van Houten who was the inventor of the cocoa press in 1828.  The cocoa press squeezed cocoa butter out of the beans and treated the cocoa with an alkalizing agent.  The agent improved the color and the flavor of the chocolate.  The process soon came to be known as “dutching”, therefore Dutch chocolate is a process not a type of chocolate as it is often thought.  Dutch chocolate used to form the base of a lot of chocolate candy, ice cream, and baking cocoa. The alkalizing agent makes it easier to disperse in milk and other drinks.

Swiss chocolate is known by its name due to its nationality.  The Swiss are often considered to be the European master of chocolate and hold chocolate making as a high art.  Milk chocolate was founded in 1875 by the Swiss, followed closely by “melt in the mouth chocolate”.  Milk chocolate is also known as Swiss chocolate.  Swiss chocolatiers have won many awards for their fine chocolates.

While knowing the difference between German, Dutch and Swiss chocolate might not change how you eat chocolate, it might give you something to think about the when you are purchasing you next chocolate confection.