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RE: swiss-list: Kirsch _ the pain MUST be eased _

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RE: swiss-list: Kirsch _ the pain MUST be eased _

From: Massimo Fuchs <click for textversion of email address >
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 19:46:20 -1000
X-Mailer: Microsoft Office Outlook, Build 11.0.6353

[It seems that all the relevant legal and business information has been sent to
 the list regarding the Baton de Kirsch, but if you want to continue to discuss
 the legal status of those batons in the US or DIY recepies, please use the
 discussions_at_swiss-list.com mailing list. Thanks, the moderator]


To answer your question, as I understand it, only if the alcohol content is
below 0.5% by volume, can confectionery be legally imported into the U.S. as
such. Most States use that same threshold of <0.5% vol. to impose
restrictions or even prohibitions on sale. As Paracelsus already once said
"Allein die Dosis macht das Gift." But batons with a Kirsch of <0.5%???
Absurd in this context as it sounds, even Listerine mouthwash off the
shelves of any supermarket has substantially more... (27%).

Plus, Kirsch of <0.5% is a manufacturing and quality impediment, unless you
are happy with the remaining 99.5% of the liquid being, e.g., corn syrup.
As your chocolatier friend can further explain to you, the higher the
alcohol content in the Kirschstängeli, the less likely will the sugar within
the chocolate couverture be liquefied by the water of whatever is in them.
An expert at Lindt once told to me that for this reason batons without a
sugar crust require an even more potent Kirschwasser, of the firepower of
>60% vol. kind.

If you are interested in the legal mumbo jumbo of the different U.S. state
regulations on alcohol in confectionery, the National Confectioners
Association and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association took the pain to
publish a list on this venerable topic, last updated in November 2002. It
is available at:


As per that list, the only place for Kirschstängeli with an alcohol content
of at least a more respectable <6.25%, and no age or labeling restrictions,
seems to be in Wyoming, maybe to appease some bears in Yellowstone.

Based on this legal maze across the U.S., I can understand why Lindt is
refraining from exporting their batons into the U.S. market, much to the
chagrin of us Swiss expats. They might have to label and sell them as
mouthwash instead, to ease our pain as you say... :-)

Best, Massimo

Swiss-list mailing list
Received on Tue Sep 28 2004 - 10:28:45 PDT

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