24 May 2024
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Beautiful and good: the noble product world

Anyone in Tyrol looking for high-quality regional products in attractive packaging will come across one name again and again: Therese Fiegl. Whether it's chocolate, schnapps or soap (more about the Tiroler Reine here on the blog!): Anything that combines colorfulness and indulgence often bears the signature of this busy entrepreneur in Tyrol.

It all started 27 years ago with the Bauernkiste, a direct marketing platform for farm produce. "The Bauernkiste was born out of my personal need. I had three small children at the time and didn't want to take them to the farmers' market. But I still wanted to eat regional food and heard that there were delivery services like this in Germany ... and I thought we could start one here too," says Therese during our conversation in her concept store in the old town.

The Bauernkiste was born out of this idea in 1997. Today, the products in the Bauernkiste can be ordered weekly, fortnightly or irregularly. A few years ago, they even published a particularly attractive cookbook.

Unique: chocolate made from gray cow's milk

One day, the schnapps distiller Christoph Köstler told Therese about particularly good chocolates from a confectioner in Landeck. The contact was quickly established and a little later, in 2001, the first bars of the company's own chocolate brand „Tiroler Edle“ followed.

"The Tiroler Grauvieh is an ancient breed of cattle that has been around in Tirol for 3,000 years. And it is precisely this history that we want to tell with the use of gray cattle milk in chocolate. A unique characteristic."

Tyrolean Grey cattle are not a high-performance breed, but rather small and robust. Most of the animals are kept on small farms, and 86 percent of them come to the mountain pastures in summer. You can taste this in the milk and it also presents a small challenge for the chocolatier.

There are now over 40 varieties of Tiroler-Edle chocolate, some of which are seasonal: "In spring we have strawberry mint and in fall we have chestnut." A new gingerbread chocolate appeared last year ... and of course the very special Hofschokolade.

Court chocolate from 1760 reissued

The latest product from Tiroler-Edle-Schokoladen has its origins in 1760, when it was recorded in the recipe collection of Innsbruck's city pharmacy. And in 2023, this old chocolate was brought back to life!

And this is how it happened: When Andreas Winkler, historian and scion of a long-established Innsbruck family of pharmacists, came across the handwritten chocolate recipe of his ancestor Anton Maria Winkler during his research, he showed it to Therese Fiegl. At that time, chocolate was an absolute luxury and reserved only for the nobility and wealthy citizens.

Together with their trusted chocolatier Hansjörg Haag from Landeck, they tried to recreate the old recipe. A bit of a challenge, as chocolates were still made without milk/milk powder back then and had a much more crystalline consistency. After a few attempts, however, everyone was convinced: the new old product tastes good!

Vegan, but with pepper please!

"The Hofschokolade is now also vegan because there is no milk in it. So I've become a bit unfaithful to gray cow's milk, but on the other hand, so many people have always asked for vegan chocolate or chocolate with pepper, which we didn't have before. And the Hofschokolade now combines both requests!"

15 grams of chocolate on the taste scale

So what does this old new chocolate taste like? One box contains three thin bars that are individually wrapped (in organic foil!). When you open the packet, you are greeted by a Christmassy aroma, but visually it looks just like a normal chocolate. The consumption tip on the packet for hot chocolate says: "Dissolve one bar in approx. 200 ml of very hot milk and stir well."

No sooner said than done. The chocolate dissolves very easily in the milk in the pot on the stove and the taste reminds me a little of chai latte at first sip, only more chocolaty. The long pepper adds a pleasant note, and if I have my way, this "old form" of hot chocolate tastes worlds better than the cocoa powder commonly available in supermarkets these days. It is also healthier, by the way, with 78 grams of sugar per 100 grams of Benco cocoa, compared to just 39 grams in Hofschokolade!

Andreas Winkler explains that back then, chocolate was considered a balm for life. In order to verify this, you would probably have to carry out experiments on yourself over a longer period of time ... but one thing can already be said from the first test: with this taste, such an experiment would definitely be a real treat!

Insights into the store

A visit to the concept store in Innsbruck's old town promises not only a feast for the palate, but also an insight into the rich culture and culinary diversity of Tyrol. In addition to many North Tyrolean products, there are also some great products from South Tyrol! Ideal for souvenirs and gifts.

Three Innsbruck insider tips from Therese Fiegl

As it is well known that the best tips come from the locals, I didn't miss the opportunity to ask Therese Fiegl a few final questions.

Where do you like to have a coffee in the old town?
Munding for coffee and cake. I also like having coffee at La Pausa. Or at the Katzung."

Where is a particularly good place to eat in the Old Town in the evening?
"The Piano Bar is definitely a classic here. Or across the street from me at Miso Korean. Or the brand new Koi Street Bar in front of the market hall!"

And where is the best place to go for a good drink?
"I think it's really cool Fuchs & Hase totally cool, you can also eat sandwiches there."

Thank you very much for the nice and exciting interview!

Contact us

All the products mentioned are available in the concept store in Innsbruck's old town. The Hofschokolade is of course also available in Innsbruck's Stadtapotheke near the Golden Roof at Herzog-Friedrich-Straße 25.

Tiroler Edles Concept Store
Seilergasse 13
6020 Innsbruck

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