My personal highlight: Discovering that there are other typical Swiss delicacies than Chocolate that deserve great attention – sweets called Biber
What is a Biber you may ask yourself?
It’s a typical Swiss specialty from the family of gingerbread buns, beautifully decorated by using a hand made wood model. The Biber has a soft dough that comes with a filling of either pealed almonds or roasted hazelnuts, honey and a secret mixture of spices.
The uniqueness of the Leibacher Biber is the hand made procedure with selected ingredient. Biber is a national speciality originally from the region of Appenzell. Since the Leibacher brother have a great passion to revival old Swiss traditions they brought this sweet delicacy to Zurich.
Something additional to say, Biber usually have the reputation being sticky, too sweet and artificial in the taste. But I guarantee, these ones are absolutely 100% genuine and a combination of natural flavors all to discover.
Best local honey is used, local biological flour and selected almonds. The whole team puts love and passion in their work.
What makes two young brothers revival an old Swiss tradition like a Biber?
Claudio Leibacher always had a passion for traditions. He studied history and loves to collect any different of antique objects. The oldest wooden Bieber model they own by the way is from the year 1480! And they want to keep this tradition moving Claudio says.
Maybe one day somebody will find one of his handmade figure for an other recipe!
As a kid he loved to stand in the kitchen with his mother to bake sweets.
This is how as one day as he found a bunch of wooden hand made models his plan was to create homemade Biber with them. He realized fast, that it’s a tricky task, to create dough that makes the design looking precise and gorgeous.
The first Biber ever Claudio created was a gift for his girlfriend, that is his wife today. I love this story!
A shop in their village was fascinated about the quality of the Biber and motivated him to continue that project. He invested everything he had in the necessary machines. Soon his brother Silvan started to support the project with his marketing and sales knowledge. That is where the nice packaging comes from.
Where they used to play as kids today you find production machines and happy ladies producing Biber in any kind of shape and design
The cellar of their parents home was the place where they started the first production tests. In the cellar where they used to play as kids, today a professional and well-equipped manufactory of the Biber is based.
The room is clean. Important steps are still handmade. It starts with the carving of these beautiful wood models. Companies can choose some specific themes and order Biber as giveaways. During my visit I had the chance to catch Easter bunny Biber.
Tasting the Biber in their parents living room
Sitting in the living room of Silvan’s and Claudio’s parents house is absolutely the highlight of my visit. Sitting there and smelling the Biber getting ready downstairs is memorable. I am ready for the tasting!
We tasted the vegan Biber. It comes with a very light almond filling, a fresh touch of lemon and a shot of a local fruity grappa called Marc.
The classical honey Biber comes with an intense, full-buddied filling of pealed almonds. The honey used is from the local woods of Zurich Oberland. This is absolutely my favorite one.
The white Biber is their latest creative invention. The dough reminds me the classical Christmas cookies called “chräbeli” or “änisbrötli”, they have some anise seeds in. They come with a filling prepared with roasted hazelnuts and a shot of lemon, too.
Dry white wine fits well with a Biber. Try this combination!