Hazelnut chocolate is a flavour-turned-cult and has an interesting story of origin – one involving war, economic strife, and the triumph of human ingenuity. It starts in Turin, Italy, at the turn of the 19th century.
Much like Belgium today, at the time Turin was the chocolate capital of the world. This northern Italian city had a flourishing chocolate trade with exports to many parts of Europe. The level of expertise in Turin was such that even Swiss chocolate makers came here to hone their craft. And it was here that, out of sheer necessity, one of the most popular flavour combinations of chocolate with hazelnuts first came into being.
In 1806 Napoleon imposed a naval blockade over Italy, severely hitting Turin’s cocoa supply which was fully dependent on imports. This created a shortage of chocolate and drove up prices. To extend their limited reserves, chocolatiers ingeniously added a creamy blend of locally grown sweet hazelnuts as extra substitute to their chocolate. Little did they know that they were laying the foundation for a super hit formula that has since captured the world’s taste and imagination.
Have you ever tried hazelnuts with chocolate? Join us in our chocolatier program to pay homage to this beautiful combination that has withstood the test of time.