As ubiquitous as a Hershey’s Kiss in America, Mozart chocolates in Austria are a beloved confectionary tradition. Mozartkugel (or Mozartkugeln) are small, round, dark chocolate-covered balls filled with pistachio, marzipan and hazelnut nougat. They were first created by a confectioner in Salzburg named Paul Fürst in 1890 and named for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born in the city. Fürst chose to name them for Mozart in honor of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s death in 1891.
Master confectioner Fürst was awarded a gold medal for his popular chocolates at the 1905 Paris exhibition. Today, you can purchase handmade Mozartkugel (also called Mozart-Bonbons or Mozart Chocolate) at Fürst on Mirabell Square, more than 125 years after the first chocolate ball was formed. Mr. Fürst’s great-great-grandson is the owner of the company and still produces what is called the “Original Salzburg Mozartkugel,” a claim only they are legally allowed to make. The chocolates at Fürst are wrapped in blue and silver tinfoil, setting them apart from the red-and-gold-foil-wrapped treats you’ll find in just about every market throughout Austria. Two additional Fürst shops are located in Old Town on the Getreidegasse and Ritzerbogen.
A second shop, Mirabell, mass produces “Echte Salzburger Mozartkugel,” and claims to follow the original recipe. The name means “real Salzburg Mozart chocolate,” leaving out the word “original.” While it certainly also tastes divine, if your chocolate doesn’t say Fürst, it's not the Original.
So, how is the Original made? The confectioner forms a ball of pistachio and green marzipan surrounded by hazelnut nougat. The ball is put on the end of a stick and dipped in dark chocolate. Once the ball is removed from the chocolate, the remaining hole is hand filled with chocolate, leaving a small dot. Therefore, the original Mozartkugel aren’t perfectly round (a quick way to distinguish them from copycat Mozart chocolates).
If you just can’t get enough Mozart chocolate, consider a visit to Konditorei Schatz, a fantastic family-run cake shop in Salzburg. They, too, started producing Mozart chocolate balls around 100 years ago and still hand-make them in their shop on the Getreidegasse. They claim to have been hand-dipping their chocolates since the 19th century, first selling it under the name Mozartkugel around 1900.
How to enjoy a Mozart chocolate? Complement your chocolate with caffeine! OK, decaf will do, but I strongly suggest good coffee alongside your Mozart chocolates. It’s a chocoholic’s delight. Be sure to pick up plenty of extra Mozartkugeln - they make an excellent souvenir and gift.
Ready to taste the Original Salzburg Mozartkugel? Let’s chat about river cruising in Europe that will deliver you to Salzburg, home of these decadent delicacies. Reach out by booking a consultation through my Services page.