Zotter Chocolate Factory

Monday, August 30, 2010

Zotter is a famous Austrian chocolate brand and I've heard great things about touring the chocolate factory. On a semi-whim, Eva and I printed up a card for Manfred's 60th birthday and presented it to him with an offer to go to Zotter - the 3 of us. As a self-diagnosed chocoholic ("I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, I don't drink very often, but I am a chocoholic" - Manfred), he immediately accepted. He then gave me a half day off work (Eva works part time) and drove us to the factory, which is 2 hours south of Vienna. On the way there, he made Eva sit in the back and said, "Jennifer is a guest in our country. You have lived here your whole life. She needs to see the countryside."

Let me just say that I genuinely felt like I was in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. This place is amazing. I've already decided that the next time my parents come, we are going to make a trip here. It's only 10 euro a person, and you spend 2 hours touring the factory (at your own pace - no guide) and you get to eat all the chocolate you want. I don't even really love chocolate but I had so much fun. The especially funny part is that this was supposed to be our gift to Manfred...but he paid for us and drove us and bought us lunch beforehand. In the end, we accepted that our presence was his present. It was such a great day.

Below: me, Josef Zotter and Eva. Josef Zotter (aka Willy Wonka) is usually never in the factory. He only makes appearances there once every few months and Manfred spotted him talking to some workers and pulled him over for a photo. Mr. Zotter was so nice!

Each person gets a complimentary ceramic spoon that you carry throughout the factory. You turn on chocolate faucets or pull levers and use your spoon to catch (and eat) the chocolate.

Manfred was in heaven!

This was the "TrinkSchokolade" station, which means "drinking chocolate". A little "trolley" runs along, carrying "TrinkSchokolade" and then you grab the flavor of your choice and drop it into a glass of steaming milk. I actually hated this part and didn't drink my milk (I detest hot drinks), but I wanted to like it so badly!

Below: Me and Manfred, modeling the trolley system. Isn't Austria so beautiful in the background?

Below: Eva, using the lever system. You pull the level and it cuts you a square of chocolate. There are literally around 100 different flavors.

Oh, this (below) was my favorite part. This was the liquid chocolate, where you pull the handle and out comes a faucet of chocolate. The white chocolate was my favorite (which is the most fattening kind of chocolate there is), but I also liked the strawberry (surprise, surprise).

So - does anyone want to talk about how desperately I need a haircut?

At every playground in Austria, there are signs saying "Eltern haften für Ihre Kinder", which means "Parents supervise your children". Here, you see the "Kinder" and "Eltern" are switched. This rule definitely applied to Eva and I (seen below, modeling our spoons), as we had to supervise Manfred very carefully!

In one of the rooms are what looks like spinning cauldrons with little chocolate balls inside. Of course you can take as many as you want.
1 of Manfred's 2 steamed milk with chocolate drinks.

A giant record player spinning with bowls of chocolate.

Eva, mixing her chocolate drink.

The chocolate you can grab as it runs along the trolley.

The "knacken" chocolate...chocolate you "knack" by pulling the lever and breaking off a square.

Eva tasting the 100% pure dark chocolate. Manfred and I didn't like this because it's soooo bitter, but Eva did. I wish I liked it....it's so much better for you than the white chocolate I love which is 50% fat (not kidding).

I would recommend this to anyone visiting Austria. So fun. So many great memories this day. I have the best co-workers I could have asked for.
Jan said...

You were right, I loved this blog post! That would be a fun place for you to take us. Daddy would LOVE it!! What town is it located? That's neat that you got to meet Mr. Zotter!!

Alex said...


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