Handcrafts and Traditions
Discover Austria's wealth of traditions, from nearly forgotten handcrafts such as indigo printing to traditions like the yearly cattle drive.
Maria Scholz and Christian Mayer are the proud owners of delightful candy shops in Vienna and Salzburg. How the year 2012 changed everything when they discovered their love for the old tradition of candy making.
"We were in the Swedish little shop for ten seconds and that was all it took," Christian Mayer recounts his revival experience. "The smell, the colours and the indescribable variety of the sweets enchanted us. We spent countless hours in the small candy manufactory in the far north and were so impressed by the craftsmanship that we dreamed of our own shop back home."
This idea did not remain a dream for long, but became reality very soon and so, after many years, a candy manufactory was once again established in the heart of Vienna. Christian didn't even leave the search for a suitable location to chance, and since 2013 Austria's very first high-rise building has been home to the high-quality creations directly in Herrengasse in Vienna's first district.
"Our greatest emotional treasure, is the original Heller catalogue from 1898, which Fritz Heller gave to us. And probably one of the most beautiful editions in our assortment are the original Heller sweets, which stem from originals of this catalog from 1898."
If you stroll through Herrengasse during the week, you'll see a bunch of children flattening their noses at the inviting shop windows of the Zuckerlwerkstatt. "The most important thing in the creation of our Zuckerlwerkstatt was that visitors could watch us making sugar candy and thus feel our passion," says Christian. Passion and a lot of joy are the main ingredients for the little delicacies.
"We believe that you can taste this passion in every single one of our sweets. And every day we see anew that our customers love the taste when they leave our manufactories with a sweet smile. The fact that our sweets are so colourful is thanks to roughly 300 different natural plant extracts. For example, the colour red comes from sour cherry, red radish and black carrot. I maintain a personal relationship with every single supplier, choose my ingredients carefully and leave nothing to chance."
"Things get mystical with our jellies," Christian grins, "here we work with, among other things, a legendary herbal mixture from the 18th century - specially produced in the Saint Charles Apothecary in Vienna. This so-called herbal miracle weapon is a mixture of essential oils of lemon, cinnamon, cloves, rosemary and eucalyptus.
The Zuckerlwerkstatt is also a tribute to the extinct tradition of the typical Viennese candy shop. At one time there were about 400 small candy shops in Vienna.