Kambly: Switzerland’s best biscuits

September 27, 2010, 12 Comments

Courtesy Kambly

It’s a sight that will leave any sweet-toothed visitor melting in anticipation. A whole room filled with biscuits, all there to be tasted.

For free. Let me just say that again. A taste-as-many-as-you-want biscuit buffet that costs nothing. Nichts, rien, niente (this is multilingual Switzerland, after all).  Welcome to the Kambly factory shop in Trubschachen, one of my favourite places in Canton Bern. It is also known as biscuit heaven.

Kambly isn’t exactly a Swiss brand with instant international recognition. Despite exporting to 50 countries, it’s not up there with Nestlé, Lindt or Mövenpick as one of Switzerland’s many famous names in the food world. But it is in fact Switzerland biggest producer of biscuits – and the best. These are biscuits to die for. So for my 100th post on this blog, it’s time to let the world know about the company that is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

It all started with the bretzeli, a thin buttery waffly biscuit that Oscar Kambly started baking back in 1906. It looks a bit like a communion wafer that has been branded, which is roughly what it is, though much tastier. Using his grandmother’s recipe, Kambly was so successful that by 1910 he’d moved out of the baker’s shop and set up his own factory in Trubschachen, a tiny village in the heart of rural Emmental (where the cheese comes from).

A century – and 26 different types of biscuits – later, and his grandson, Oscar A Kambly, is still in charge. There can’t be a single person in Switzerland who hasn’t tasted a Kambly biscuit at some time. But which are the best? Here are my favourites:

  1. Mont Choco: a crispy biscuit half-covered in Toblerone-style chocolate, with the covering shaped like the Matterhorn. Sweet in every way.
  2. Mandelcaramel: thin slices of almond toasted and caramelised then dunked in milk chocolate.
  3. Chocolait: round plain biscuit smothered in divine milk chocolate.
  4. Sablé: made with local Emmental butter, it’s the closest thing to shortbread in Switzerland.
  5. Chocolune: airy hazelnut biscuit filled with fluffy chocolate cream then half covered in dark chocolate.

Until now, I wasn’t a big fan of the bretzeli itself. A bit too dull, though lovely with ice cream for an impromptu pudding. But for its 100th birthday, Kambly has introduced a chocolate-covered bretzeli (pictured above). Now we’re talking. It’s probably delicious enough to make it into my top five, though I might have to try a few more to be sure.

To taste the biscuits, head for the Kambly factory in Trubschachen. All of them are out on display, with tasting tins for you to dig into. And if you can decide which you like the most (quite hard, trust me), then the 500g bags on sale are cheaper than in the supermarket. The factory shop is open every day from 8.30am until 7pm Monday-Friday or 5pm Saturday-Sunday (different hours on holidays; check the Kambly website). Just catch a direct train from Bern or drive a little past Langnau. If you don’t want to be too piggy, make sure to go when you’ve just eaten. Then again, far better to go when you’re hungry and have room to taste every single one of the 26 varieties. That’s what I do. Every time.

12 Comments on "Kambly: Switzerland’s best biscuits"

  1. sunneschii Monday September 27th, 2010 at 07:35 PM · Reply

    Definitely Chocolune!

    But to be true, I like all of them!

  2. Jenny Bewes Tuesday September 28th, 2010 at 10:36 AM · Reply

    The Mandelcaramel for me. My mouth is watering remembering our visit there. Wish I could buy them here, but then maybe it’s better that I can’t…..

  3. John Zimmer Tuesday September 28th, 2010 at 11:59 AM · Reply

    Good post. Please follow up immediately with another on where we can sample good Swiss beer for free.


  4. Rahel Tuesday October 5th, 2010 at 12:01 PM · Reply

    For me the Caprice!
    And a visit is since a long time on my list… after your post I can’t wait to go to there.

  5. Wicher Wednesday October 13th, 2010 at 09:30 AM · Reply

    Great post. I already had the pleasure of tasting some of the varieties, but I am sure to follow your advice.

    PS. The link to the Kambly website is broken.

    • swisswatching Wednesday October 13th, 2010 at 10:15 AM · Reply

      Thanks. Hope the link is working again now.

  6. Arun Agrawal India Saturday June 18th, 2011 at 02:45 PM · Reply

    Kamby biscuits are undoubtedly the best in the world . We can buy them at Carrefourt stores in Dubai or else the nice big shop at the Cornavin Main station in Geneva.

  7. sandip sharma Sunday April 29th, 2012 at 09:41 AM · Reply

    after knowing about kambly i also want to share my biscuit manufacturing experience at kambly,s factory site , iam also a quality manager in an indian biscuit manufacturing ( fine biscuits) company .i want to learn more about biscuits and kambly is best for that .

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