Chocoladefrabiken Lindt & Sprüngli AG, more commonly known as Lindt, is a chocolate company based in Switerzland and has been in operation since 1845. As these older companies often start, in the beginning, it was small. In 1836 David Sprüngli-Schwarz and his son Rudolf Sprüngli-Amman purchased a small confectionary shop in the old "town" of Zürich. At the time the chocolates were sold under the name of David Sprüngli & Son where after two years they expanded adding a small factory to produce more chocolate. Following Rudolf's retirement, the business was split between his two sons David and Johann. David was the recipient of two confectionary stores and Johann got the factory.
David took the two confectionary stores he had inherited and turned them into high-end, luxury retail stores. Today they are the world renown Confiserie Sprüngli, known mostly for their "Luxemburgerli", a perfected Swiss version of the macaron. Johann, however wanted to expand the chocolate factory and even more and even converted his own private business into Chocolat Sprüngli AG in 1899. The same year, Johann, acquired a chocolate factory in Bern that belonged to Rodolphe Lindt. Rodolphe had been working in the chocolate business for over 20 years by 1899. In the mid 1870s he worked in a small chocolate shop before opening his own factory in 1979. Rodolphe was responsible for inventing and pioneering the process of conching chocolate and adding cocoa butter back into the chocolate making process. It is said in chocolate legend, that Rodolphe mistakenly left a mixer with chocolate in it overnight and, while at first was concerned with the wear and tear on the machine, noticed he had a much smoother product. Chocolate produced after chonching contains superior aromas and melting characteristics when compared to unchonched chocolate products. Before chonching, solid chocolate was not very popular due to being gritty, and was predominantly consumed as a liquid. Rodolphe's advancement in world of chocolate was considered revolutionary. After Johann and Rodolphe started working together, they changed the name of the company to - deep breath - "Aktiengesellschft Vereinigte Berner und Züricher Chocoladefrabiken Lindt & Sprüngli" or United Bern and Zurich Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Factory Ltd. From there the company has continued to expand and become the company we all know today.
The first stop on the chocolate journey is something really special, what I consider to be the physical definition of the term "chocolate bar". Lindt (the company) released a bar using the same recipe Rodolphe trail blazed in the 1870s. At the time, it was introduced as the first "chocolate fondant" (melting chocolate) and todays bar even features packaging using the original design by Rodolphe himself. I can certainly understand why people at the time desired it considering most solid chocolate at that time would have been gritty. It's not too dark, don't let the package scare you; it comes in at a 49% cocoa content (which for some is not nearly enough) so there is a harmonious mix of sweet, tart, bitter, and pure cocoa. The chocolate is not oily in any way like some cheap chocolate you can buy. When I first picked up the bar in the store, I immediately thought "This must be what a Wonka bar from the book would feel like". At the same time, I thought there is much more than 100g of chocolate bar here, because it holds so much weight in history.