Saturday, June 17, 2017

Exotic/Disgusting Foods and Beverages Forum--An Austrian Dessert and Soft Drink

     Two more finds from Wegman's grocery for this week.  It is truly the supermarket that keeps on giving.
     After confirming it was made in Austria, I snapped Mezzo Mix right up.  But then when I investigated a little more closely, I realized it was actually a Coca-Cola product.  Mezzo Mix is only made and marketed in Europe though--mostly Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, although evidently a little bit in Spain and Sweden, too.  Mezzo Mix is a relatively recent development, dating back to 1973.  It's basically Coke with orange juice, and orange flavor.  A version with lemon used to be sold, but then it was discontinued.  A lemon/Coke hybrid was then reintroduced in 2003.  In February, around Valentine's Day, a raspberry "berry love" Mezzo Mix is produced, since 2013.  The slogan for the orange Mezzo Mix flavor is, "Cola kusst orange," or "Cola kisses orange" in German.
     Conversely, the manufacturer for the dessert I ate, Manner, is an Austrian company, and is somewhat old, dating back to 1890.  Although it's become more cosmopolitan--in 2012 Manner products were sold in over 50 countries around the world, including the U.S., Russia, the Middle East, and several countries in North Africa.  The company is known for its distinctive pink colored packaging, and founder Josef Manner's stated vision of "chocolate for everyone!".  Manner sells mostly what we Americans refer to as "cookies," (aka "biscuits" in some areas).  Flavors include the flagship hazelnut, vanilla, whole grain, hazelnut/chocolate, and bite-sized versions of the same.
     The Mezzo Mix flavor I had was the orange.  It came in an average 330 ml. (11.15 ounces) can, which was both colored orange and had a drawing of the fruit on it.  And it was disappointingly similar to regular Coke.  I didn't detect much of an orange flavor.  There's only 1.5% orange juice in it, so I guess that's the main reason.  I find Coke okay--neither great nor terrible, and I regarded the Mezzo Mix to be about the same.  But clearly I was hoping for something more distinctive.
     The Manner cookies I tried were the original hazelnut cream filled wafers.  They broke down in small (about 5 cm./2 inch by 1.5 cm./.5 inch) pieces.  Each piece consisted of four layers of the brown hazelnut cream encased by five layers of yellowish brown wafer slices.  The outer yellowish brown layers had a cross hatch design on them.  They reminded me of other wafer-type cookies I've had over the years, including the fruity Brazilian ones (see May 25, 2016 post).  But the hazelnut cream filling was new, and very pleasant.  They were quite solid, and tasty.  So of the two Austrian products I definitely prefer the Manner wafers, mostly because they had a distinct, and detectable flavor.

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