Well before Forest Gump described life as a box of chocolates, one Polish family’s life literally was made of chocolate. Karol Ernest Wedel is the creator of most famous Polish chocolate, and 150 years later the brand still uses his handwritten signature as its logo.
The signature is of course backwards as this photo was taken from inside Wedel’s chocolatiere opened in 1894, overlooking the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. The date on the window says “Since 1851” but that’s the date Karol E. Wedel founded the company, not the date the shop opened. Three generations of Wedel descendants kept the company a family run business until WWII devastating most of Warsaw also tore down the Wedel chocolate factory. Jan Wedel, the last of Wedel’s to have run the company, rebuild it after the war only to have it taken away by the communist government as part of the nationalization process. After the Wall fell, the company was reprivatized, then bought by PepsiCo. in 1991, and since bought by Cadbury in 1999 thus making Wedel, the most famous Polish chocolate, no longer Polish.
The Wedel chocolatiere we went to in Warsaw goes back to its roots of serving everything chocolate to its faithful customers. Above you can see a little eatable set that was simply delicious. Hot chocolate was amazing, as it should, and the whole place is kept in a very 1900’s style where even the waitress was dressed to fit the part. I highly recommend a stop at the Wedel chocolate shop to anyone visiting Warsaw.