They don’t give you wings – but they do guarantee heavenly delight. Every year, more than 800,000 Bärli-Biberli biscuits are distributed on Edelweiss flights. These popular treats are produced in the canton of Appenzell. The recipe is a well-kept secret. Saving the best for last: the delicious Edelweiss-adorned Biberli biscuits are distributed on every Edelweiss flight shortly before landing. And many passengers cannot resist asking for two. Because Biberli have a distinct advantage over other sweeties, such as chocolates which are commonly offered by other airlines: they do not melt and can therefore be savoured long after arriving at one’s holiday destination, as a snack at the beach, for instance.
A treat for the palate thanks to a well-kept secret recipe
The Bischofbergers in Weissbad, in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, have been producing this popular treat for four generations. For fifty years, their motto has been “homemade tastes best”. Accordingly, the butter used to make the Biberli is exclusively from Appenzell. And the people of Appenzell are so proud of their traditional speciality that the recipe is kept as a closely guarded secret.
The idea to produce a honey dough with a nut filling and to adorn the pastry can be traced back to the sixteenth century. In other words, Biber biscuits have been enjoyed in this part of the world for almost five hundred years. The origin of the name is debated. Some sources refer to the term “Piment“ (allspice), whereas others believe the Middle High German word “Birnenzelten“, which means flatbread or flat pastry, is where the name stems from.
The great pride of Appenzell
But one point is undisputed: the Bärli-Biber biscuits owe their unique taste to a particular blend of spices and a special dough-making process. Besides using local milk and butter, great value is attached to the honey which is mixed into the dough and must have a particularly strong flavour. Needless to say, only the best-quality almonds are used for the filling.
Bischofberger AG has always focused on making these delicious biscuits. The location in which the Biberli are produced today was already a Biber and bread bakery in the nineteenth century, hence long before the Bischofberger family took over in 1960. From the start, the Bischofbergers decided to not bake bread opting instead to specialise in making Appenzeller Bärli-Biber, a brand registered with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property as early as 1957. In other words, the people of Appenzell have been proud of their Bärli-Biber for almost sixty years. And rightly so!
Handmade with the utmost care
As the Bischofberger motto suggests, these yummy treats are made by hand with the utmost care and patience. First of all, the dough is left to rest overnight – which adds to the taste of the Biberli. Thereafter, every step is performed to perfection: the dough is rolled out, cut into pieces, pressed into an embossing mould (in our case featuring the famous Edelweiss), covered with a filling and a crust, turned, cut in pieces, placed on a baking tray and left to bake in the oven for a good twenty minutes. Once left to cool and sprayed with a natural acacia fibre (for a nice finish) the Bärli-Biber biscuits are wrapped in a special foil to keep them fresh.
Snack for athletes, dessert for gourmets
By the way, Bärli-Biberl biscuits are also increasingly enjoyed by elite athletes. The glucose or fructose content in the honey goes straight to the bloodstream and supplies energy, and the carbohydrate reservoir gets a quick refill. Biberli biscuits are thus a natural energiser without any chemical additives and also fit in any jacket or trouser pocket. Biberli are great for amateur sport lovers too. To that end, if your holiday plans involve cycling or hiking, why not save your Edelweiss Biberli for then - or simply ask a Cabin Crew member for two.
Besides being a delicious biscuit per se, Biberli can also be used to make scrumptious desserts. With that in mind, you may want to collect all of your family’s Biberli biscuits on your next Edelweiss flight and use them to make ice cream, a parfait or a mousse when back home. Holiday reminiscing has never been sweeter!