Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mozart Kitsch: "Austria has pulled out all stops to splurge almost $120 million on the biggest birthday bash the little country has ever seen. Throughout this year, the hills, valleys, towns and cities will be alive with the sounds of Mozart music, with classical concerts, music contests, street parties, street musicians, fireworks, banquets and dancing. There are umbrellas, watches, tea cups, ashtrays, commemorative plates, beach towels, handkerchiefs, diaries, pencils and even baby bottles emblazoned with Wolfer's bewigged portrait. The local Stiegl brewery has launched a Mozart Gold beer; there's a new Hiedler Mozart Vintage wine from last year's harvest; an enterprising butcher woke up with a recipe in his head for a new Mozart sausage; and the Alpenmilch dairy has just invented nougat, marzipan and chocolate-flavoured Mozart yoghurt drinks. But the supreme example of Mozart kitsch is "Mozartkugeln", sugary blobs of pistachio, marzipan and hazelnut nougat dipped in chocolate, invented in 1890 by Salzburg confectioner Paul Fuerst and sold to English-speaking visitors as "Mozart Balls"."

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