The Day It Snowed Cocoa Powder

Lindt & Spruengli factory (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Zurich, Switzerland is no stranger to snow, averaging 22 inches per year. Even so snow in August would be a rarity — even more so if the snowflakes looked and tasted like cocoa powder.

Which is what happened on Tuesday when residents of the town of Olten between Zurich and Basel noticed it was snowing particles of a fine cocoa powder. The explanation for the strange weather, according to the Associated Press, was that the ventilation system at Lindt & Spruengli, makers of Lindt chocolates, malfunctioned during the roasting of cocoa nibs.

The nibs, fragments of crushed cocoa beans, are the basis of chocolate.

Combined with strong winds on Friday morning, the powder spread around the immediate vicinity of the factory, leaving a fine cocoa dusting.

The article doesn’t specify how long the precip lasted, but if it continued for hours, some enterprising baker could have placed a large pan of espresso-soaked ladyfingers topped with whipped and sweetened mascarpone cheese outside the factory to make a nature-inspired tirami-su.