This Chocolate’s Made For Walking

We often go through life believing things are the way they are because, well…that’s the way they are.

For instance, the Ritter Chocolate Bar. It’s square. Not rectangular like nearly every other candy bar in the world. Ritter bars are square.

That’s just the way it is.


Well, guess what? Ritter bars were not invented this way on a whim. They were invented this way for a reason.

When I first moved to Germany, I attended a culture class. On the last day of the class, our instructor took us to the Ritter Chocolate Factory and Museum. I wasn’t sure how this counted as German culture, but I happily went along for the chance to eat chocolate. While I was sampling, I learned two things: the word Ritter means Knight and the chocolate bar of the same name has been part of German culture since 1932.

Thus convinced of its cultural significance, I was free to enjoy Ritter’s museum, which takes visitors through the company’s entire history, including the reason for the chocolate’s square shape…

It’s made for walking.

Apparently, a very clever woman by the name of Clara Ritter realized that chocolate bars were the best travel snack around. Even the great German poets said so…

There was just one problem: those pesky rectangular bars didn’t fit very well in pockets and they had a nasty habit of breaking. Clara Ritter’s solution?

A square chocolate bar designed to fit in the pocket of a sports jacket. Suddenly, folks going to sporting events could carry their chocolate with them. Hence the bar’s unusual name…Ritter Sport.

Who would’ve thought?

Today, Ritter is still packaging chocolate that’s made for walking. If you visit the factory, be sure to head to the back room of the museum shop. There you’ll find pre-packed bags of Ritter bars with easy-to-carry handles…just right for walking.

Better get two…if you’re anything like me, only one bag of the bags will make it home to share with friends.

Okay… maybe only half a bag.


A Piggy Peep Show

Need some good luck this year?  Grab a pig!  In Germany and many other parts of the world, pigs are considered good luck. Fresh out of swiney charms? I’ll show you a place where you can find over 40,000!

The place is called the Stuttgart Schweine Museum. According to the Guinness Book of World Records it boasts the much-coveted honor of being the world’s largest Pig Museum.

With a place like this, who needs the Louvre?

The Mona Lisa’s got nothing on this:


Then there’s the Statue of Pigerty:


And the Piggy Peep Show:


Duck inside this secret room and peek through the heart-shaped windows to see piggies in compromising positions. According to the exhibit, the German word Schweinkram means “nasty stuff.” Pigs have long been associated with fertility and all that goes with it. Pigs also have a reputation for being “dirty.”


The museum is educational, too. You can learn about the theory of Evolution:


Or learn how to say ‘pig’  in multiple languages, including the ever useful Morse code:


The museum has something for everyone, including ties for dad:


Stuffed animals for the kids (the museum claims plush pigs were invented 10 years before the teddy bear):


And for mom, there are plenty of goodies for bed, bath, and beyond…


There’s serious art, too:


And of course, no pig museum worth it’s bacon would be complete without piggie banks:


If you visit, be careful what you say. This is a place where pigs really do fly:


And if you work up an appetite exploring all 29 rooms, the museum has a restaurant. The food is actually quite good if you can get past some of the menu descriptions. (What are the best pieces of pork knuckle?)


Some final thoughts by Sir Winston Churchill:

“I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”


More Piggy Posts:

Stop Sausaging Around

Happy Yellow Pig Day