Southern Burgenland is definitely worth a visit! A trip to this region is a pleasant slowdown in the hectic pace of everyday life, it will take you to interesting places and to unique family companies.
The Blue Stop
Blueprinting, an old technique for dyeing fabrics, was inscribed on the UNESCO list of the intangible cultural heritage of mankind in 2018. The registration is in common for five Central European countries, including Austria. The number of blueprint factories was reduced to such an extent that they were in danger of disappearing completely. There are only two left in Austria – one in Upper Austria and the other in Steinberg in southern Burgenland. The Koó family company was founded in 1921 and is currently run by Joseph.
They still work according to traditional methods and with original tools, not much has changed in the workshop over the years. The patterns on the fabric are printed by using forms carved from pear or linden wood, there are more than 300 of them and some are over two hundred years old. A special paste is applied to the blocks, the composition of which is a protected family secret and is passed down from generation to generation. The main ingredients are gum arabic and clay.
The fabric (linen, cotton or silk) is then soaked in blue with the addition of indigo and lime – this is done several times depending on which shade of blue they want to achieve. The indigo tree comes from southern India, but a few shrubs were just blooming in the garden. The plant has beautiful purple-pink flowers, but the blue dye is obtained from the inconspicuous leaves. The blueprints used to be mainly used to sew aprons, but in the Koó store, you will also find beautiful pieces of the modern fashion. Koó’s specialty is a technique which makes it possible to print the fabric with a different pattern on each side (double-sided prints).
Original Indigo Blaudruck Koo
Neugasse 14, Steinberg
More information: here
The Sweet Stop
Bad Tatzmannsdorf is one of the most famous places in southern Burgenland. However, not everyone knows that in addition to top wellness one can be pampered also with chocolate. The Spiegel chocolate company started producing pralines only in 2000, although they had previously run a guest house with a restaurant. At first, there were only three types of pralines, but the demand was so great that the range expanded rapidly. Today, they use up to 120 recipes.
The outer layer of each praline is made of the finest Belgian chocolate, which must be heated very carefully, mixed and then poured into special molds.
What grows in the surrounding forests, gardens and meadows – poppy seeds, hazelnuts, raspberries, rhubarb, pumpkin seeds, apricots, but of course also Uhudler (what is hidden behind this interesting name, you can read about in my article: Uhudler) is then mixed into the inner filling.
In one day, they produce up to 6-10 thousand pralines here which means they use 14 tons of chocolate in a year! Each praline is a small work of art, its production takes up to three days!
My favorite was a candy flavored with strawberry and black pepper, but I also liked the dark-milk praline with a pinch of Portuguese natural salt. At first, you may feel the salinity, but then the taste of chocolate seems to stand out better. It is a pity that we came here on the day when the temperature climbed well above 30°C, so we could not buy these sweet temptations to take with us because they would melt on our way and we would only have a sticky sweet mash left. But I’ll definitely return one day!
Spiegel Hotel Restaurant & Pralinen Manufaktur
Tatzmannsdorfer Str. 55, Bad Tatzmannsdorf
More information and online shop: here
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Text: © Copyright Ingrid, Travelpotpourri
Photos: © Copyright Ingrid, Travelpotpourri