The history of the Mozartkugel began in Salzburg where the ingenious composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756.
The Salzburg Mozartkugel, which can be regarded as the original, was invented by the Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst in 1890.
He chose the name Mozartkugel to pay his respects to Salzburg’s own Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who at the time was actually not very popular.
As his specialty became increasingly popular, Fürst established a company that continues to sell Mozartkugeln. However, he had not applied for a patent to protect his invention, and soon other Salzburg cake shops began to sell similar products.
The Rajsigl-Süßwarenfabrik (later named Mirabell), which was founded in 1897, set up manual production of Mozartkugeln in the 1920s in Salzburg, Grödig, based on the original recipe.
When imitation products began to appear, Fürst initiated a court process to attempt to secure a trademark. At first, the dispute concerned only confectionery producers in Salzburg, but later spread to include the competition from Germany. The result was an agreement which obliged Fürst’s competitors to use other names.
The Mirabell firm, based in Grödig near Salzburg, chose the name, “Real Salzburg Mozartkugeln”. The Bavarian producer, Reber, opted for “Real Reber Mozartkugeln”. In 1996, a dispute between Fürst and a
subsidiary of the Swiss food producer Nestlé, which wanted to market “Original Austria Mozartkugeln”, was decided in the third instance. Only Fürst’s products may be called “Original Salzburg Mozartkugeln”.
At the end of the 1970s, another dispute arose between the industrial confection producer Mirabell and its competitor Reber over the Mozartkugel trademark. A provisional agreement was reached in 1981
between representatives of the Austrian and German governments, whereby only Austrian producers were to be allowed to use the label “Mozartkugeln”. Reber protested against this agreement, and the
EC-Commissioner in Brussels charged with deciding in the affair finally declared the agreement invalid. This is why Reber may legitimately and continuously use his Genuine Reber Mozart-Kugeln trademark, though with a hyphen in-between.
Nonetheless, only Mirabell Mozartkugeln are allowed to be round. Other industrially produced Mozartkugeln must have one flat side. Besides Mirabell and Reber, Mozartkugeln manufacturers include Hofbauer, Vienna (part of Lindt & Sprüngli), and Manner, as well as Halloren in Germany.
Mirabell is the market leader with their “Echte (Genuine) Salzburger Mozartkugeln”. They make about 90 million per year – by industrial methods. Mirabell claims their product to be the only Mozartkugel
that is perfectly spherical.
Handmade Original Salzburger Mozartkugeln are manufactured by Fürst’s descendants up to today. They make about 1.4 million per year, under the name “Original Salzburger Mozartkugel” .
Paul Fürst opened a confectionery shop at Brodgasse 13 on Salzburg’s Alter Markt marketplace square in 1884. This shop quickly became popular with Salzburg’s fashionable crowd.
His opening advertisement stated: “Drawing on years of experience in the most renowned confectionary workshops in Vienna, Pest, Paris, Nice and many more, he will strive to offer the best and newest …”
In 1905, Paul Fürst received lots of praise along with a gold medal for his Mozartkugel at the World Exposition in Paris.
The original recipe for Mozartkugeln is as follows: a ball of marzipan combined with pistachio and covered in a layer of nougat is produced. This ball is then placed on a small wooden stick and coated in dark chocolate. The stick is then placed vertically, with the ball at the top, on a platform to
allow the chocolate to cool off and harden. Finally, the stick is removed – the hole that it leaves behind is filled with chocolate coating, and the ball is wrapped in tin foil. The balls remain fresh for about eight weeks at room temperature.