Sexy Dark Swiss

Specifically “pinksalt floyd rocks” Sexy Dark Swiss. Oh, it’s chocolate and it’s really trendy, because it’s prebiotic, and it’s whimsical too (the name Gutsii playing on gutsy and alluding to the gut, the playful allusion to the rock band Pink Floyd), plus it parades itself as dark and sexy, like a forbidden lover who steals into your bed in the dark of night. It came to me from the snack drawer at LiveJournal, brought by Kim Darnell, who works there.

From the Food Navigator site, the piece “Prebiotic chocolate? Gutsii enters US market on a mission to make gut health simple” by Mary Ellen Shoup on 2/11/19:


The stuff is a product of Switzerland, but the company that created the chocolate bars and markets them is Australian, and now they’re in the American market.

Background: prebiotic. From OED3 (June 2002):

prebiotic n. [there are also adj. uses] A non-digestible food ingredient that selectively promotes the growth of beneficial intestinal microorganisms (probiotics). [That is, prebiotics are a special type of probiotics, promoting the growth of beneficial intestinal microorganisms, but through indigestible ingredients.] [The complete set of cites:]

— 1995 G. R. Gibson & M. R. Roberfroid in Jrnl. Nutrition 125 1401 Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacterial species already resident in the colon.

— 1998 Independent 3 Mar. i. 14/7 When you’ve been on the diet a while, some people use probiotics (eg live yoghurt) and prebiotics (specialised fibre food) from health food stores to encourage growth of good bacteria.

— 2001 Observer 1 Apr. (Life Suppl.) 45/1 The two main prebiotics are the non-digestible oligosaccharides inulin and oligofructose, the richest nutritional sources of which are chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, salsify, onions, wheat, bananas and other fruits, vegetables and grains.

The floyd rocks ingredients:

cocoa mass, inulin, amaranth, cocoa butter, himalayan salt, vanilla beans [warning:] Excessive inulin intake can lead to flatulence and diarrhea in sensitive people.

(Personal note: I am this sort of sensitive person, so though I’m enthusiastically on board for salty dark chocolate, especially if it’s Swiss, I’m returning these chocolate bars to Kim for her own delectation.)

And how did inulin get its name? From a plant, a very pretty yellow daisyoid flower. In my 3/28/19 posting “Revisiting 28: van Gogh and Redon”, see the section on the flower Inula helenium, or elecampane, with bitter aromatic roots used in herbal medicine (also providing a source of the sugar inulin).

Background: Swiss chocolate. I am astonished to discover that I haven’t posted on Swiss chocolate. But so it is. Now, from Wikipedia:

Swiss chocolate is chocolate produced in Switzerland. While cacao beans and other ingredients such as sugar can originate from outside Switzerland, the actual production of the chocolate must take place in Switzerland [to merit the label Swiss chocolate].

… Switzerland is particularly renowned for its milk chocolate. In 1875, a Swiss confectioner, Daniel Peter, developed the first solid milk chocolate using condensed milk, which had been invented by Henri Nestlé, who was Peter’s neighbour in Vevey.

… Today most Swiss chocolate is consumed by the Swiss themselves (54% in 2000), and Switzerland has the highest per capita rate of chocolate consumption worldwide (11.6 kg (25.6 lbs.) per capita per annum).

Note 1. “Swiss chocolate is chocolate produced in Switzerland” is, despite appearances, not a truism — because the nominal Swiss chocolate is interpretable in many ways, corresponding to the many interpretations of a N + N compound Switzerland chocolate. Here, as a Source compound (‘chocolate from Switzerland’), rather than as denoting some other association between the head N of the compound (chocolate) and the modifier N (Switzerland); in particular, Swiss chocolate is not understood in the Wikipedia article as parallel to the most common understanding of Swiss cheese (roughly, ‘cheese of a style traditionally associated with Switzerland’). The parallel understanding of Swiss chocolate — ‘chocolate of a style traditionally associated with Switzerland’ — is certainly available, and entirely comprehensible (it would refer to a type of milk chocolate), but the expression Swiss chocolate refers by Swiss regulation only to chocolate produced in Switzerland.

Note that though the Gutsii products are Swiss chocolate in this strict sense, they are not in fact Swiss-style chocolate; Swiss chocolatiers produce plenty of dark chocolate, but the national specialty is milk chocolate.

Note 2. The town of Vevey. See my 7/16/18 posting “19th-century Swiss steak”, with its section on Vevey, a town in francophone Switzerland in the canton of Vaud, on the north shore of Lake Geneva, near Lausanne.

Note 3. A few well-known brands of Swiss chocolate: Cailler, Suchard, Tobler, Lindt. There was a Zwicky brand for a while, not at all distinguished, but it seems to have disappeared without a trace.

Some illustrative Swiss chocolates. A box of them:

(#2) Swiss chocolate truffles and pralines from the Lindt & Sprüngli company

On to the Teuscher company, because (a) Zürich and (b) San Francisco. From Wikipedia:

Teuscher is a chocolatier headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

Teuscher’s main store is on Zurich’s famed Bahnhofstrasse. The flagship store is a few blocks away in Zurich’s old city centre (Storchengasse 9) in a shop built in 1647.

Founded in 1932 by Dolf Teuscher, Sr., Teuscher is now run by Dolf Teuscher, Jr. The company’s CFO is Rafael Rubio, Dolf Jr.’s nephew.

In addition to its stores in Zurich, the company has outlets in Geneva, Berlin, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Chicago, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco [307 Sutter St.], Palo Alto [Stanford Shopping Center, now closed], Beverly Hills, Newport Beach (California), Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, Doha, Shanghai, Baku (Azerbaijan), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Abu Dhabi and Bangkok (Thailand). The Swiss confectioner hand manufactures over 200 varieties of confections and pastries. Its signature confections are Champagne Truffles, the first of its kind. They are made with Dom Perignon champagne, butter cream, and surrounded by dark cream ganache made from 66% dark base chocolate. Each is enrobed in milk chocolate and dusted with confectioner’s sugar, or dark chocolate and dusted with bracingly dry unsweetened cocoa powder.

From the San Francisco store, a display of chocolates, mostly truffles:

(#3) Champagne truffles on the upper right (photo by Christina G. 4/1/18)

A note on truffles. From NOAD:

noun truffle: 1 a strong-smelling underground fungus that resembles an irregular, rough-skinned potato, growing chiefly in broadleaved woodland on calcareous soils. It is considered a culinary delicacy and found, especially in France, with the aid of trained dogs or pigs. Family Tuberaceae, subdivision Ascomycotina: Tuber and other genera. 2 a soft candy made of a chocolate mixture, typically flavored with rum and covered with cocoa

The fungi:

(#4) Black truffles

And the metaphorically named chocolate candies:

(#5) On the Serious Eats site, Chocolate Ganache Truffles Recipe by Kumiko Mitarai on 2/7/11

Cocoa-dusted spheres of chocolate, cream, and liquor. You really can’t go wrong.

In their simplest form, chocolate ganache truffles are not at all hard to make. All you need to do is make the ganache from chocolate and cream [plus optional butter for extra smoothness and optional liquor (traditionally rum, but Ann Daingerfield and I used bourbon)], which is whisked into an emulsion. Once it sets, the ganache is balled up and rolled in cocoa powder to resemble the fungus they’re named after. They have a big, luxurious chocolate flavor.

Other liquor: cognac or another eau de vie, Kahlua, Frangelico, Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Madeira, and of course champagne à la Teuscher.

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