Austria, Eating Out

Mozartkugeln in Salzburg

I hope you aren’t tired of reading about chocolate yet.  This past Saturday there were Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies and the Saturday before that there were Nutella Swirl Blondies…You can never have too much chocolate, though, right?  Unless maybe you’re a dog.  Or allergic.

Today, rather than a recipe, I bring you another culinary history lesson and food review.  All the opinions in this post are, of course, my own and are ones I have come to independently.  This post is inspired by a trip last week to gorgeous Salzburg that I took last week with a friend who was in town.  If you’ve ever seen The Sound of Music, the scenery is pretty darn accurate despite the many anachronisms in the plot.  It was filmed largely on-site in Salzburg, which makes a visit to the city entertaining for anyone who has seen the movie.  Not surprisingly, the movie isn’t too popular here.


Photos from my 2009 trip to Salzburg because I may have had some technical difficulties this time…namely my camera battery dying within the first hour of the trip.
But that’s besides the point.  I’m not here to tell you about Salzburg itself (though I will say it’s a cute city with tons a Old World charm, a medieval fortress, and picture-perfect scenery), I’m here to talk about the chocolate you can buy there.  Mozartkugeln are a type of chocolate candy, kugel meaning sphere/ball/scoop and Mozart of course referring to the composer who was born in Salzburg in 1756 and became incredibly famous only a few years later.

If you’ve ever been to Austria, I’m sure you’ve seen the gold-wrapped Mirabell Mozartkugeln: milk chocolate truffles filled with nougat creme and marzipan.  Oh, and Mozart’s face graces each and every foil wrapper.  The original type are the individually wrapped truffles, but you can also find coins, chocolate bars, and the new mini truffles.  These can be found in any city, at any grocery store.  They’re slightly fancy chocolates but when it comes down to it, they’re kind of like Hershey’s (sorry guys, hate to break it to you, but it’s the truth).  Firma Mirabell claims that the chocolates are “die Echte Salzburger Mozartkugeln” –the real Salzburg Mozartbugeln.


Cafe-Konditorei Fürst in Salzburg would beg to differ.  The Mozartkuglen from Cafe-Konditorei Fürst can only be bought in Salzburg and they also claim to be the original.  Fürst was opened in 1890 by Paul Fürst and is still run by the Fürst family.  Their Mozartkugeln come in silver and blue wrappers.  In his day, Paul Fürst was well-known because he created not only a delicious chocolate but a perfectly round chocolate.  The chocolates themselves are a truffle made of a dark chocolate shell filled with hazelnut-chocolate nougat creme (think Nutella) and a marzipan center.  They call their product “die Original Salzburger Mozartkugeln” –the original Salzburg Mozartkugeln.

There are even more companies that sell an imitation of Fürst’s candy, but Mirabell is the big competitor, perhaps because it was also first produced near Salzburg.

Now, in my opinion, the Fürst Mozartkugeln are way better than the Mirabell candies.  I’ll try and explain why.  

  1. Dark chocolate > milk chocolate.  Always.
  2. Mirabell are industrially produced and sometimes the marzipan center is rather dry.
  3. Mirabell’s nougat creme lacks flavor when compared to Fürst’s.
  4. Let’s be honest, knowing something is hard to find makes it a little bit more special, doesn’t it?

I don’t mean to dump on the Mirabell candies.  They’re perfectly acceptable chocolate candies.  Maybe I mean this more as a PSA to future first-time visitors to Salzburg: You will see the Mirabell Mozartkugel (red and gold) widely advertised, but they are not the original, and they are not the special ones.  You need to poke around for one of the four shops/konditoreis selling the Fürst chocolates (silver and blue).  Then buy a bunch and enjoy.


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