German chocolate and candy are known all over the world for their premium quality and exquisite flavors. Many of the sweets which are now available almost everywhere orginated in Germany. The most prominent example might be the world-famous gummi bear which is, of course, a German invention.
Germany’s chocolate industry has a great reputation worldwide and fiercely competes with its Swiss neighbor for the top ranks in quality.
Seasonal sweets from Germany have become festive staples in many countries. After all what would Easter be without the delicate chocolate bunnies and scrumptious praliné-filled eggs or Christmas without the chocolate Santas, all the great marzipan products and the popular chocolate-filled Advent calendars?
Here are some of Germany’s most popular and well-known chocolate and confectionery products:
Gummi Bears (Gummibären)
The Gummi Bear was invented in 1922 near Bonn, in the kitchen of confectioner Hans Riegel. The fruit-flavored gelatin bears became more and more popular throughout the years and are now exported all over the world, including the US, where they first made an appearance in 1982. Gummi bears are produced in six different colors: white, green, yellow, orange, and light and dark red. The corresponding flavors are pineapple, apple, lemon, orange, strawberry, and raspberry.
Marzipan, made with ground almonds and sugar, is another popular confectionery item in Germany. It has a long history, dating back to the sixteenth century when it made its way from the Middle East, via Venice, to the tables of Germany’s nobility. Up until the eighteenth century, marzipan was used for medicinal purposes until it became a delicacy for the rich in the early nineteenth century. Now you will find marzipan being eaten both on special occasions such as Easter and Christmas, but also during the rest of the year. Marzipan comes in all shapes and sizes, both in plain, for use in cooking or in the form of animals such as the “Good Luck Pig” (Glücksschwein) and also covered in chocolate in the shape of loaves, balls, and bars.
A Mozartkugel or Mozart Ball is a ball-shaped, chocolate-coated confection, with a pistachio- and almond-marzipan center and an outer layer of nougat. It was invented in 1890 in Salzburg by a confectioner Paul Fürst, who named it after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The original name was Mozartbonbon which was later changed to Mozartkugel. Unfortunately, Fürst did not think to protect the name Mozartkugel which means that it left other companies open to legally copying his product and using the same name. After several legal proceedings the courts decided that only Fürst’s company may use the name Original Salzburger Mozartkugeln. Other producers of the Mozartkugel may use names such as Echte Salzburger Mozartkugeln (Genuine Salzburg Mozartkugel) which is used by the Austrian company Mirabell, and Echte Reber-Mozartkugeln (Genuine Reber Mozartkugeln), which have been made by the German company Reber in Bad Reichenhall since 1938. Reber exports its Mozartkugeln to 40 different countries and makes over 500,000 of them per day! Their Mozart Balls are dome-shaped while Mirabell’s are perfectly round.
Schaumkuss /Schokokuss (Schaumkuss /Schokokuss)
The Foam Kiss” or Chocolate Kiss is a confection consisting of a waffle base, a foam center made of egg whites and a chocolate covering. There are many variations of the Schaumkuss, some with a white chocolate covering, some with milk chocolate, and some are covered in coconut or nuts. The Schaumkuss is also called a Schokoladenkuss, Schaumzapfen, Süßpropfen, or a Naschkuss. Germans eat over 1 billion Schaumküsse every year and the average child eats around 100 of them. German children also like to eat them squashed between 2 halves of a Brötchen (bread roll) which they call Matschbrötchen, Klatschbrötchen, Datsch, or Schokokussbrötchen.