I had been planning it for years and this spring I finally managed to visit the Austrian Zotter chocolate factory. Many people had already told me about it, so I went there with high expectations but I was not disappointed. What is more, the factory tour became one of my top three experiences related to chocolate. [...]
I had been planning it for years and this spring I finally managed to visit the Austrian Zotter chocolate factory. Many people had already told me about it, so I went there with high expectations but I was not disappointed. What is more, the factory tour became one of my top three experiences related to chocolate.
It was a fantastic experience, so I recommend you to visit Zotter. In addition, this program can easily be combined with a tour in the Őrség region.
The entrance fee is about 15 EUR. Despite of the fact that the visit to the factory is advertised to be 1.5 hours long, we spent there 6 hours. :) You can listen to the recordings on the audio guide in English as well.
At the beginning of the program we saw a video about the growing and processing of cocoa trees, as well as about some interesting facts related to the factory. It was funny. I especially liked the owner who is a little bit whimsical. I discovered some similarities in connection with our enthusiasm regarding flavours.
He is also the kind of person who likes experimenting. He uses both classic and extreme combinations. Just imagine that there was an ‘idea cemetery’ with all the flavour combinations he tested but did not like, such as the sausage-mustard flavour etc.
Then, we visited the factory where everyone could walk at his own pace. At each stop you can listen to the commentary on the audio guide about the things you can see there. It is also explained what each machine is doing, what is prepared there and how it is made.
And the most important thing is that the various cocoa beans and ingredients can be tasted at each stage of their processing including the huge selection of finished products. At the end we got chocolate poisoning. The chocolate filled me with energy.
A selection of unflavoured chocolates, filled chocolate bars, hot chocolate and chocolate dragées can be tasted in unlimited quantities. However, it is advisable not to overload your stomach right at the beginning of the tour, because if you try just a little bit of everything, soon you will not be able to bear the sight of the huge amount of things you have not tasted yet.
In short, it is very interesting, informative, funny and filling. I think it is worth spending a whole day there. There is a playground, a petting zoo and a bio restaurant in the vicinity of the factory. The company grows plants and keeps farm animals in order to have ingredients for the production. For instance, the firm caters for its own needs when it comes to the herbs used for flavouring the chocolate. In addition, Zotter utilises the milk of its own animals.
Obviously, the tour ends in the factory shop where you can buy the items previously tasted. However, they are a bit more expensive there. Well, we bought quite a lot…
As a result of the factory tour, people can finally understand why quality costs as much as it does, and they become ready to spend more on it, because they learn how much work is invested, which quality ingredients are used, etc.