It's a well-kept secret that there is a rivalry between Bern (the capital of Switzerland) and Zurich (the largest city in Switzerland). As a result of growing up near Bern, I was always biased towards the city named after bears.
A Day in Zurich
When growing up in Switzerland, I never really spent much time exploring Zurich. However, after spending a day in Zurich exploring the city with family, I might have to give it more credit.
Located right on the river Limmat and Lake Zurich, the city is surrounded by water and offers beautiful views of the Swiss Alps in the distance. The city is relatively small, but packs in everything you need in a walkable and picturesque area.
We spent our day in Zurich wandering through the old town, admiring old fountains,...
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... explaining old buildings to my niece (although I think she might be more fascinated by the birds than listening to me) ...
... walking past one of the oldest hotels in Switzerland, Hotel Storchen (established in 1357), which even has its very own ferry terminal ...
... and found ourselves in front of the Oro De Cacao store. We couldn't resist the idea of some hot chocolate on this cold winter day and stepped right in.
Exploring Oro De Cacao, Zurich
Oro De Cacao is a brand new Swiss chocolate producer. I am a firm believer that Swiss chocolate is the best chocolate in the world (No offense to Belgium, but i'm also slightly biased, being Swiss and all). However, this store takes the chocolate experience to an entirely new level.
Dieter Meier revolutionized the chocolate production process by using cold extraction to break cocoa beans into cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and the parts that give chocolate its bitter taste. As a result, you're left with a very intense and flavorful piece of chocolate. By removing the bitterness of the chocolate, but preserving the intense natural flavors, Oro de Cacao does not need to add as much sugar to mask the bitterness. The result is absolutely delicious tasting chocolate, without being overtly sweet.
Completely in awe with this new technology, I sampled a piece of every variation they offered! The new technology process of making the chocolate preserves the intense aroma of the various cocoa beans. As I sampled the various chocolates, I could taste as distinct difference between the various pieces of Oro de Caco chocolate, with the only difference being the country of the source beans.
And of course, we couldn't leave Oro de Cacao without trying their home-made hot chocolate which was beautifully rich. I also took some chocolate bars home and love to treat myself after a long day at work. Given the intensity of the chocolate flavor, you only really need a small piece to satisfy your cravings. We will definitely be back to Oro de Cacao the next time we spend a day in Zurich!
Thank you Oro De Cacao, Zurich for having us and providing us with a delicious and wonderful chocolate experience!
Zurich at Dusk
We spent the rest of our day in Zurich raving about the chocolate we just tried, and enjoying the beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere. I just love wandering the streets of European cities leading up to Christmas. The cities are nicely decorated and always feature a Christmas market where you can enjoy gluhwein, or mulled wine, and tasty treats! Zurich has multiple Christmas markets, including near the main train station and in front of the Zurich Opera House.
Although we only spent a day in Zurich, the city impressed me with its old-town flair and international spirit. It is a city that I grew up relatively close to, and as a result never truly took the time to explore as a tourist. Have you been to Zurich? What did you like best about the city? Let us know in the comments below.
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