Enter any grocery store in Germany and you’ll undoubtedly find a multitude of colourful square Ritter Sport chocolate bars on display. Known for their slogan “Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut.” (i.e. “Square. Practical. Good.”), Ritter Sport makes some of the yummiest chocolate bars around. Lucky for me, their headquarters and museum are based in Waldenbuch, a small village located only a few kilometres outside of Stuttgart.
We decided to visit the Ritter Sport museum a few weekends ago on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The limestone, eco-friendly museum is split into two parts, the larger part consisting of the Marli Hoppe-Ritter Collection which has nearly 600 paintings, sculptures, and graphic works that pay homage to the square, and a smaller part consisting of the chocolate exhibition, chocolate workshop, and chocolate shop.
When we arrived, it was late afternoon and we still hadn’t had lunch so we decided to visit the café located in the larger museum wing. We sat at a table on their spacious patio and enjoyed our meal al fresco. We each had a different panini and side salad and were seriously contemplating ordering one of their desserts with melted Ritter Sport chocolate on top but somehow we refrained. (Melted Ritter Sport chocolate bar on ice cream, anyone? Who’s with me?)
Since we didn’t have too much time before the museum closed, we headed straight for the chocolate exhibition. Though it’s rather small, the exhibition is well laid out and describes the history of chocolate, the ins and outs of cocoa beans, the origins of their ingredients from milk to hazelnuts to raisins, and vintage advertisements and chocolate bars from decades past. All the info placards are in both German and English, making it easy to follow along.
My favourite features at the museum were the aroma stations where you could smell their ingredients (marzipan! yoghurt!) and the mini Ritter Sport factory where (with the push of a button) a little truck delivers a tiny bar of chocolate to you.