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Private chocolate tasting at a boutique chocolatier

A tasting visit to Max Chocolatier, the premiere chocolate atelier in Lucerne, is a chance to sample some of the finest and most unusual handmade truffles in the world. Learn about the history of chocolate-making in Switzerland, the comparatively new small-batch boutique chocolate scene and the story of the shop’s true owner, young chocolate-lover Max.

In this 45-minute experience, you’ll learn obscure chocolate terms like ‘grand cru’ and ‘conching’ and taste single-origin chocolates from sustainable sources around the world.

Max Chocolatier creates their truffles seasonally, so the palette will vary depending on when you go. Take the time to overwhelm your taste buds with fillings ranging from caramels and nuts to fruit and flower combinations, boozy concoctions and local honey with mountain herbs.

After the tasting, you can continue your chocolate adventure for an additional 45 minutes and get some hands-on confectionary experience with the master chocolatiers in their kitchen.

Your tasting experience begins when you enter Max Chocolatier, a relatively new family-owned chocolate atelier with a light and unassuming interior. The local granite and oak shelves and unadorned glass cases, designed by the owner’s architect sister, create a warm and natural atmosphere for the display of the ornate handmade delicacies.

The chocolate shop, created by Patrik König and named for his son, fills a niche in Swiss chocolate culture that you may not have previously experienced. Chocolate-wise, Switzerland is chiefly known for its invention of milk chocolate and for large industrial purveyors of the same, such as Lindt. The Lucerne shop, opened in 2009, represented a breakthrough for small producers of handmade chocolate.

The bars, truffles, spreads and drinking chocolate produced here all start with fair trade, single-origin beans, and are crafted in-house with slow care. While at the boutique, you’ll learn even more about the history of chocolate production in Switzerland, how this family business came to be and the story of the shop’s namesake, Max.

The tasting experience lasts 45 minutes and includes truffles of various kinds, showcasing both the varied and intense chocolate varieties from around the world and the sometimes-unusual all-natural ingredients that go into them. Max makes classics like nuts, caramel and raspberry, but depending on the season, you might sample offerings like lychee and chili, mojito, basil calamondin or mango and coconut.

If the tasting whets your appetite for creative chocolates, you can stay for another 45 minutes and meet the master chocolatiers in the kitchen, where you’ll learn to pour chocolate bars and stamp truffles yourself.

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