Snickers. Three Musketeers. Pay Day. What do these candy bars have in common? A sweet, sticky nougat.
While it seems a like a common flavor these days, Toblerone was actually the first confectioner to add the filling to their chocolate. In 1909, they patented their famous milk chocolate with nougat creation.
It all started in 1868, when Jean Tobler opened a confectionary in Bern, Switzerland. Gaining popularity, he opened a factory named Fabrique de Chocolat Berne, Tobler & Cie in 1899.
And in 1900, he entrusted his shop to his son, Theodor Tobler. It was Theodor and his cousin, Emil Baumann, who had the idea to add crushed bits of nougat to their chocolate in 1908. Their classic chocolate recipe, which uses cocoa, sugar, and powdered milk, thanks to Philippe Suchard, who first used powdered milk because its low water content means it incorporates better into the chocolate, was already wildly successful. But it was the nougat that was revolutionary.
Traditionally thought to have originated in Mediterranean countries, there are many varieties of nougat. In France it dates back to the 16th century, and rumor has it the name nougat comes from ‘tu nous gates,’ French for ‘you spoil us.’ Meanwhile the Italian version, with roots in the 15th century, is known at Torrone. Made with honey and roasted almonds, its name comes from one of two places. The first theory suggests it was inspired by the bell tower of cathedral, then known as the Torrazzo or Torrione, in Cremona, where the Italian nougat was first recorded. The second theory proposes that Torrone comes from the word torrere, which is the Latin word for toasting.
Why is it Called Toblerone?
Despite all the options when it comes to nougat, it was the Italian version that Theodor and Emil opted to incorporate into their milk chocolate. In fact, they were so fond of the mixture, it served as the namesake for their company. Toblerone is actually a portmanteau of Tobler, Theodor’s family name, and Torrone, the name of the Italian nougat. Tobler + Torrone = Toblerone.
What inspired its distinct shape, however, is more of a mystery. One theory suggests it was modeled after the Matterhorn, one of the most stunning and recognizable mountain peaks in the Swiss Alps. Another, more risque theory, posits that the shape was informed by the human pyramid Folies Bergeres’ dancers made at the end of their shows in Paris. Either way, the triangular chocolates have been loved by many all over the world. Toblerone has since produced 11 different varieties, including fruit and nut, white chocolate and honeycomb.
It’s no wonder they farm 14,000 Swiss cows just to produce the milk needed to make Toblerone.
These things aren’t just chocolate – they’re nuts! Thanks for reading Why is Toberlone called Toberlone! What’s your favorite Toberlone product? #whyisitcalledtoblerone
Annelise Schoups is a contributor at Rewind & Capture. With a degree in journalism, experience in public relations, and an education in travel, she is passionate about cultivating knowledge and storytelling.