Austria may not seem like a go-to destination for great chocolate but Zotter (the man and the chocolate) is a rare thing in any land.
Zotter is a well known chocolate brand in Austria where his approximately 350 different, organic, bean-to-bar offerings can be seen in every deli worth it’s salt.
The Zotter chocolate factory is about a 2 hour drive out of Vienna and it is set in the grounds of an ‘edible farm’ meaning not only are all the plants used in the making of the chocolate but the animals are all used for food to feed the Zotter staff.
The factory tour comprises of taking a journey from tasting all the beans to all the varieties of couvertures and then sampling almost every variety of chocolate product they make. Each visitor is provided with a china tasting spoon for all the ganache and tempering samples. It really is WillyWonka-esque.The choclate is high quality but by the end all i wanted was a wild straberry from the garden outside… It is a mamouth day of chocolate eating.
You can find out more about Zotter chocolate here http://www.zotterchocolate.co.uk/ and but some from the larger London department store food halls. Warning: the flavours can be really unusual: plum wine, bacon and stilton or basil and rose flavour -sometimes the risks don’t pay off … for me anyway!
There are other places in Vienna peddling their own chocolate as part of their heritage and Demel is an old patisserie and chocolate shop which is stunning and sells beautifully packaged bars…but sadly they taste a little bit waxy and lack a depth of flavour which comes from our spoiled tastes thanks to the bean-to-bar chocolatiers…however it’s good to see beautifully packaged items.