To the delight of adults and children alike, a fountain gushing hot chocolate awaits visitors at the entrance to Schokoland in Caslano, the most widely visited museum in Ticino with 70,000 visitors each year. In addition to allowing you to discover the history of chocolate, peppered with anecdotes and amusing stories, this special experience offers you a chance to actually observe the production of this "delight of the gods" and, above all, taste and even purchase the cocoa-based delicacies of Alprose Chocolate, which exports more than 6,000 tons of chocolate annually across the globe.
The museum is recognizable by the bright, red-painted and life-sized traditional cows silhouettes placed not only in the garden, but also on the rooftop of the building.
Since its founding in 1991, the chocolate museum has continued to intrigue, fascinate and attract a multitude of gourmand visitors. The museum presents an overview of the history of chocolate – from the first rudimentary cocoa-based dishes prepared by the ancient peoples of Central America, to modern production, in a thousand delicious forms –however, samples and tastings, make it extremely difficult to overcome the temptation to turn the visit into an "interactive" experience.
Another feature of Schokoland is that you can follow the chocolate production step by step from an elevated corridor where visitors watch kilometres of chocolate moving through their various stages of processing, from cleaning and roasting cocoa beans to the packaged finished product. In the Choco-Studio children can even create their own “Schoggi”.
Of course there is also an educational exhibit represented by large photographic panels and fact sheets that tell the extraordinary story of the cocoa bean that was first appreciated by the native peoples of Central America, the Maya and Aztecs. Cocoa beans are still cultivated in these regions today, in order to subsequently be exported and used for the production of chocolate. The history explained in the museum focuses on Switzerland, where, as early as 1891, chocolate had begun to conquer the taste of an entire nation. Besides being the world's largest producer of chocolate, boasting more than 140,000 tons per year, Switzerland is also ranked among the largest consumers worldwide with 12 kilos per person per year.
Portraits pay tribute to the "founding fathers of Chocolate", from François-Louis Cailler, who founded the oldest chocolate brand in Vevey, where the tradition still lives on today, to the founders of the great families of Swiss chocolatiers including Philippe Suchard, Jacques Foulquier, Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann and Henri Nestlé.
During the visit you will discover interesting facts and anecdotes, such as the one about Daniel Peter who, after falling in love with Cailler’s daughter and his chocolate, came up with the great idea of inventing milk chocolate.