I have distinct childhood memories of the Confiserie Teuscher shop in Zürich.
Whenever I would pass by the original store on Storchengasse, it seemed incredibly colorful and inundated with delicious looking chocolate treats. But do you believe my confession that it has taken me until now to step foot inside?
An article in the New York Times sparked my curiosity about Confiserie Teuscher. The writing is an ode to this Swiss chocolatier, and it prompted me to find out for myself what all the hype is about.
The interesting origin story of Champagne truffles
It all started with a small bakery and confectionary in the Tösstal valley. In 1932, Dolf Teuscher and his wife opened up shop for a brief time before moving their business to Zürich. In the summer of 1947, a heatwave struck Switzerland - a veritable nightmare for a chocolatier. But for Dolf Teuscher Sr., this heatwave was a pivotal moment as it resulted in his invention of Champagne truffles.
The inventor's son, Dolf Teuscher Jr., who is helming the family business today, in the New York Times: "My father got the idea during a heatwave, which is a confectioner's nightmare. He saw two Champagne buckets sitting on the top of a glass cabinet. That night, he dreamed of the buckets and saw himself making Champagne truffles and selling them like crazy. We've never changed the recipe."
The resulting confectionery is called a "truffle" because its size and shape resemble the black fungus which pigs dig out of the ground. Only a few insiders know the secret recipe behind the Champagne truffles, the company’s most popular product.
Teuscher produces between 200 and 300 different products, a portfolio that has not changed much in the decades since the company’s founding. In Handelsblatt, the current CEO was once quoted as saying that Teuscher is proud of never inventing new products.
Instead of expanding their product line, Confiserie Teuscher focuses on consistency and quality. Hence, all chocolates are made with fair-trade beans, and no additives or chemicals are used.
My first Teuscher Champagne truffles
The highlight of the Teuscher Champagne truffles surely is the Dom Pérignon Champagne center. It is made of buttercream enriched by one of the finest Champagne brands from France. The core is surrounded by dark chocolate ganache and encrusted in a layer of milk or dark chocolate. And finally, the milk chocolate variety is dusted with powder sugar while the dark chocolate truffle is sprinkled with cocoa powder.
Champagne truffles are crunchy and chewy. And then the Champagne... Did this description whet your appetite? If yes, you could buy an individual Champagne truffle at one of the shops for trials.
And if you like it as much as I did, you could opt for a set of truffles. The smallest gift box contains two Champagne truffles while the largest box fits 72! In the name of journalism, we bought a green box of four truffles for this review...
In the United States, the treats sell for $281 per kilogram or roughly $4 per truffle. At the flagship store in Zürich, the famous Champagne truffles sell at 3.45 francs each, making them slightly less expensive closer to the production site.
Can you bear my unboxing of the famous Champagne truffles?
Where to buy Teuscher Champagne truffles
Those in Switzerland are in luck. Teuscher operates several outlets, such as one shop in Geneva and two in Zürich. Both Zürich shops are within a few minutes' walk, so make sure to check out both of them.
The original outlet at Storchengasse with its large windows has a different vibe than the newer outlet on the Bahnhofstrasse shopping mile. The former is inside a building from 1647 where various shops have been operated. This is also my favorite Teuscher outlet because it fits in with the cobblestone alleys of the old town. There are some shop-in-shops as well, such as at Globus or Cafe Schober in Zürich.
Here are some impressions of the Teuscher shop at Storchengasse in Zürich:
And this is what the Teuscher shop at Bahnhofstrasse in Zürich looks like:
Fortunately, Teuscher chocolate is also available outside of Switzerland. Hand manufactured in small batches in Dübendorf near Zürich, the delicacies are shipped weekly as far as Tokyo or Beverly Hills. The flagship store in North America is located in New York City’s Rockefeller Center.
Since 1979, New Yorkers have been buying Champagne truffles and other popular products at Teuscher Fifth Avenue. (There is also a smaller franchise shop in midtown Manhattan.)
So, there you have it: all the reasons why Teuscher Champagne truffles are out of this world!
Phone: +41 44 211 51 53
Opening hours: Mon - Fri from 9 AM to 7 PM, Sat from 9 AM to 6 PM, Sun from 1 to 6 PM.