Creamy, melt-in-the-mouth almond nougat combined with redcurrant marzipan: Zillertaler Granat – also known as Zillertaler Mozartkugel – is one souvenir you can be certain won’t collect dust! The pralines have been made in Mayrhofen’s traditional Café Kostner for more than 21 years. We visited the birth place of the Zillertaler Granat.

Zillertaler Granat - Pralinen aus Tirol

© Sportalpen

Zillertaler Granat versus Salzburg’s Mozart balls

Café Kostner in Mayrhofen has been a bakery and a family business since 1933. Karl Kostner expanded the business to include a cake shop, confectionary and café. Carl-Peter Kostner didn’t just take on the business from his father but also his father’s passion for baking. The creative baker and confectioner is famous for his unusual creations and unique sweet treats. He is always creating new specialties,, indeed he was experimenting when, 21 years ago, he created the Zillertaler GranatʺI wanted to create an alternative to the Salzburg Mozart balls using products which were representative of the Ziller Valley.ʺ, explains Carl Peter Kostner of his Tyrolean pralines.

The praline’s filling is a hit with customers

The name Zillertaler Granat came to Carl Peter Kostner suddenly:ʺZillertal, so that people would know where the praline originated from, and Granat the name of the beautiful red crystals, used in traditional jewellery, which the valley is famous for.ʺ. He worked together with Granat crystal specialists to ensure the praline had the correct form and developed the unique filling with his family. ʺWe decided on a filling made from almond nougat and redcurrent marzipan covered in a layer of dark chocolate. ’Ribisel’, as redcurrents are called locally, are typical in the valley. This combination makes the praline so unique.ʺ.

Zillertaler Granat praline 

Herr Kostner with his delicious Zillertaler Granat 

Zillertaler Granat

Ziller Valley style packaging

It’s not only the pralines which are representative of the Ziller Valley, but also their packaging. ʺThe box is red, like the Zillertal Granat crystals. The image is of a man in traditional dress (‘Tracht’) wearing a black tie and typical Loden jacket and a traditional hatʺ, the confectioner tells us.

Since the praline was first presented at the 1994 Zillertal trade show, it has become increasingly famous.

From Mayrhofen to New Zealand

Every year approximately 20,000 pralines are sold in Café Kostner. They are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike and guests in Mayrhofen often find the pralines on the pillows in their accommodations. Online business for Zillertaler Granat is also booming ʺThe furthest we have sent our pralines is to America and New Zealand.ʺ, says Carl Peter Kostner proudly. ʺBut there are also many locals, such as our neighbour, who are addicted to the Zillertal Mozart balls and are always restocking their supply.ʺ.

The pralines are handmade

In the family business, which is soon to be handed over to the fourth generation, they only use the highest quality ingredients -100 percent organic to ensure the best taste. And the same is true for the Zillertaler Granat. ʺWe know where our products come from and make almost everything by hand – from the filling to the packaging. There is only one machine involved in the process which helps us fill the Zillertaler Mozart balls. Everything else is done by our staff.ʺ, explains the confectioner.

Zillertaler Praline is a „Tirol Sweet“

On the shelves of Carl Peter Kostner‘s café, Zillertaler Granat replaced Salzburg Mozart balls a long time ago. And there is something else about which the master baker is very proud: some time ago a colleague of his – Hermann Brunner from Kufstein – gave him his life’s work: ʺTirol Sweetsʺ. Under this name Carl Peter Kostner now sells the Andreas Hofer Gulden, the Tiroler Knödeln, the Kufsteiner Talern and also the Zillertaler Granat.

Fourth generation at the start

In response to the question of whether the confectioner also enjoys a Zillertaler Granat every now and again comes a quick reply: ʺA creator has to like his products more than anyone or he is doing something wrong. I just have to watch out that I don’t eat too many!ʺ, smiles Carl Peter Kostner, who really appreciates his family’s support. Out of his six children, one son has already passed his master craftsman diploma and the second has almost finished his apprenticeship as a confectioner. ʺIt’s great to be able to share my passion with my family. It’s also a good feeling to know that the business will stay in the family. The fourth generation are already in the starting blocks to take over.ʺ, concludes the baker and bites satisfyingly into a Zillertaler praline.