Tucked away in a neighbourhood north of the Ring, and West of the Danube Canal, is one of the most wonderful chocolate shops on Earth. It's name? Xocolat Manufaktur.
With four locations in Austria, this chocolatier promises to satisfy even the toughest customer (in my opinion, and I like to think that I've had some damn good chocolate in my life). Let's start with the shop itself. The chocolate is made on-site, which in my experience just can not be beat and signifies higher-than-average quality. Through the glass walls of the kitchen, which face the street and the interior of the store, passers-by and customers can see the chocolatiers at work. They were long at work before we ever made it past the windows - let's say by 10 in the morning - and they were still cleaning up when we were making our way home for dinner in the evening - around 8 or 9 usually. We stared in the windows every time we passed them for three days. Always a long pause, staring, mouths open and slavering a little, but you can not blame us! Walking past one can see them rolling truffles, or for instance today one chocolatier was filling half-egg-shaped moulds in preparation for giant chocolate eggs, taking huge ladels of molten chocolate and filling each one, setting it down to cool for a second, and then dumping the chocolate out again leaving a delicate crust in the mould. MMM!
Today, as promised, we stopped to taste the chocolates. There are a number of products for sale, including dipped peel, chocolate fingers, chocolate spread in jars, and boxes of various chocolates. We decided to try some of the truffles which are kept in the counter under a sliding glass door. Drew and I each got one Sel de Caramel, Jasmine, and Ginger, and then Drew had a Japanese Lemon while I went for the traditional Chocolate truffle.
If you are curious about just how good they are, this is how good they are: