About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Enter 'the Austrian Chocolate Factory' and Get a Taste of Heaven

by Hannah Punitha on October 10, 2008 at 3:20 PM
Font : A-A+

 Enter 'the Austrian Chocolate Factory' and Get a Taste of Heaven

At the end of a small road in the Austrian countryside, Josef Zotter's "Chocolate Factory" transports visitors to a world where the exotic and the rare mingle to create a taste of heaven.

No posters or pamphlets point to this hidden treasure but somehow 2,000 visitors from Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Germany and Poland find their way to its doors on an autumn Saturday to pamper their senses and tastebuds.

Advertisement

"I am the only one in Austria who makes chocolate that is certified organic and fair trade from beginning to end," the cheerful owner, Josef Zotter, tells AFP.

Since it opened to the public in August 2007, his Schokoladen Manufaktur has welcomed over 150,000 chocolate aficionados.

The factory, which counts some 100 employees, boasts fountains of melted chocolate, chocolate chip dispensers and enormous glass vials containing exotic aromas like mint or turmeric, all created by the 47-year-old Zotter.
Advertisement

His main base are cocoa beans from Nicaragua, which he selects at source. So far he has travelled five times to the remote plantations, which are accessed only after an arduous two-day car and boat trip.

"We have been working for three years with the Nicaraguan farmers, who have a contract with us," he explains, adding that this includes "a training course in the factory so the growers see what becomes of the beans."

Recent hurricanes in Latin America flooded the plantations, halving the 24 tonnes that were for delivery this autumn.

"But I always have reserves ... to guarantee production for at least six months," notes Zotter, who opened his chocolate factory in 2004.

"He is the only one to produce fair trade and organic chocolate from bean to bar," says Regina Dicken, head of marketing at Fair Trade Austria, which delivers fair trade certificates.

"There are no other certified fair trade chocolate manufacturers in Austria," she adds.

What sets Zotter's chocolate apart are the fillings which range from the traditional -- caramel, apricot and poppy seed -- to the unusual: alpine cheese with walnut and grape; candied cranberry with porcini mushroom; or plum with caramelised bacon -- a huge hit in Austria.

"I invent all these combinations myself, sometimes with the help of my wife," says Zotter.

On his website, the chocolate meister notes: "I do not believe in just one taste or flavour... For me, taste is always plural."

And so he layers the fillings "so that the tastebuds discover the aromas one after the other," he tells AFP.

One of Zotter's most recent creations is an India-inspired drinking chocolate with 70-percent cocoa content, a hint of cardamom and a pinch of powdered Shiitake mushroom.

Zotter's distinctive 70-gram chocolate plaques, all shaped by hand, are made exclusively with organic ingredients and contain no artificial aromas.

As for the alcohol he uses: "I have them distilled nearby by a friend."

Zotter appears unfazed despite the spike in global cocoa prices.

"On the normal market, which is neither fair nor bio, prices went up 30 percent from 80 cents (1.12 dollar) to over a euro per kilo," he notes.

"I'm still paying my bio farmers three to four euros per kilo."

In the factory shop, sales assistants are busy filling up shelves with small and colourful Zotter plaques in 200 flavours, some bearing words of thanks, love and good luck.

"When times are rough, like they are at the moment with the world financial crisis and high inflation, we actually do more business," says Zotter.

"It's in those moments that small luxuries take on meaning and a good chocolate helps overcome certain frustrations."

Source: AFP
SPH
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Caffeine and Decaffeination Food Combinations that Affect Your Well-being Dark Chocolate vs. Milk Chocolate vs. White Chocolate Foods to Avoid to Keep Acid Reflux At Bay 

Recommended Reading
China's Chocoholics Get a Taste for Swiss Bars
As Beijing celebrates the glory of its Olympic year, new figures released Friday suggest that ......
Candy With a Conscience?
Want to buy a day's worth of carbon offsets with your chocolate bar? How about donating to breast .....
Caffeine and Decaffeination
Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant alkaloid commonly found in many of the products we consume dail...
Dark Chocolate vs. Milk Chocolate vs. White Chocolate
With the varieties of chocolate available like milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate, h...
Food Combinations that Affect Your Well-Being
Combining the foods to give you the optimum nutritional value is the key to healthy eating....
Foods to Avoid to Keep Acid Reflux At Bay
Acid reflux is a common problem among people. Modification in eating habits can help to improve the ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use