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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 August 2018

Swiss chocolates by Sprüngli come to the UAE 

The maker of the famed Luxemburgerli macarons has opened a store in The Dubai Mall following from Abu Dhabi launch 

Luxemburgerli. Courtesy Confiserie Sprüngli
Luxemburgerli. Courtesy Confiserie Sprüngli

Fresh biscuit crumbs with the perfect crunch are coated with a truffle ganache made from pure dark chocolate, and shaped by hand to resemble a miniature cake. Light-as-air macarons – better known among confectionery connoisseurs as Luxemburgerli – are handmade following a 60-year-old family recipe; and filled with naturally flavoured raspberry, pistache, citron, bourbon vanilla and, of course, chocolate. Frozen strawberries, bananas, peaches and apricots are whipped into an assortment of miniature fruit-shaped ice creams. These and other decadent offerings from Sprüngli, the 173-year-old Swiss chocolate-maker, can be sampled first-hand in only two countries in the world: Switzerland and the UAE.

The chocolatier sells its sweet wares exclusively from its own boutiques, 24 of which are dotted around its country of origin. Meanwhile, its latest outfit in the Fashion Avenue extension of The Dubai Mall opened last month, five months after the country’s first branch at The Galleria in Abu Dhabi. The stores even offer two UAE-exclusive creations: a coconut truffle and the Sprüngli Logo praline in milk, with an almond gianduja filling. All stock, however, is made in and arrives fresh from Zurich. “All our products are still handcrafted in Switzerland, with no use of industrial machines, to ensure customers in the UAE receive the same quality,” says Marc Wirth, managing director of Sprüngli Middle East.

All stock arrives fresh from Zurich
All stock arrives fresh from Zurich

The sixth-generation business began in 1836, when David Sprüngli and his son, Rudolf, acquired a confectionery on Marktgasse in Zurich. It was widely thought at the time that Paradeplatz in downtown Zurich would become home to the city’s main train station. This prompted the enterprising confectioners to relocate their handmade-chocolate shop to that square in 1859. Unfortunately, the Hauptbahnhof didn’t materialise there, after all, leading to many a sleepless night under the Sprüngli family roof. Just as things began to look properly bleak, the intersecting street of Bahnhofstrasse became the city’s most popular meeting place for musicians, shoppers and lovers alike. Sprüngli was perfectly placed to benefit, and its headquarters sit in that spot to this day.

The company was split among Rudolf’s two sons, one of whom took on the Lindt & Sprüngli factory, which has since become an industrial enterprise, while the other ran Confiserie Sprüngli, which remains a family-owned artisanal operation.

The chain was voted one of the top 10 chocolate shops in the world by National Geographic in 2016.

Milk truffle 
Milk truffle 

It was one of the first Swiss chocolatiers to present itself online, back in 1998, and soon after expanded to include soups and light meals in addition to chocolate-flavoured concoctions and aromatic teas and coffees. Local folklore has it that young men who want to signal their availability will do so by turning over their coffee spoons in their cups, a rumour, says the company, that harks back to its earlier days, when the cafe used to be one of the few places where young women could talk to strangers without fear of compromising their reputation.

Wirth says of the new Dubai branch: “We selected it to ensure we were aligned with a location that reflects our luxury essence. At Sprüngli, chocolate, the making and the consumption of it, has always been looked at as one of the finer things in life.”

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