In the Swiss city of Chur, you’ll find a special sweet treat with a unique shape. Known as the Bündner Pfirsichsteine, these are “peach pits” you can eat! Soft and not too sweet, they’re quite irresistible and make a nice souvenir or gift from Graubünden’s capital city. Although, you may be wondering… What’s the story behind this Swiss candy?
In Chur, Pfirsichsteine were first created by master confectioner Otto Hürsch-Müller back in 1887. Originally from Zofingen (canton of Aargau), Mr. Hürsch-Müller apparently loved peaches, as described by a note that accompanies these candies when you buy them. A 2012 article in Die Südostschweiz indicates that he used to carry a silver peach pit charm on his watch chain. Today, Bühler’s Zuckerbäckerei still makes these candies with his original recipe.
Given their shape, you would imagine that Pfirsichsteine taste like peaches, but they’re actually made from a type of almond paste. Bakeries like Bühler’s Zuckerbäckerei do not divulge any specific spices or flavorings on the ingredient list, instead choosing to list them as “Gewürze” (spices).
According to Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse, the typical ingredients for these candies can include the following: ground peeled almonds, sugar syrup, bitter almonds or bitter almond flavor, sandalwood, cocoa, cinnamon, kirsch and sorbex (sorbic acid, a preservative).
I seek out these special candies every time I’m in Chur. They’re especially nice when shared with friends and family at the end of a meal — alongside a cup of coffee or tea or a small glass of Churer Röteli. In my opinion, the Bündner Pfirsichsteine is a Swiss culinary tradition worth preserving.
Where to find Bündner Pfirsichsteine:
Café – Chocolaterie – Confiserie Maron
+41 (0)81 253 53 53
Bühler’s Zuckerbäckerei (original recipe)
Untere Gasse 32
+41 (0)81 252 72 72