The Manner Schnitten snack wafers are as much part of Vienna and Austria as the schnitzel or sausage stall.
- Hazelnut wafers still made in Vienna
- Iconic pink packaging and logo
- A simple (and inexpensive) gift to take back home
- See also:
Taste and tradition
(The famous Schnitten)
The founder of the Manner company — Josef Manner — began business life with a chocolate and coffee shop (very Viennese!) in the shadow of Stephansdom (St. Stephan’s Cathedral) around 1890.
Mr. Manner went on to bigger things, inventing the Schnitten in 1898 in honor of the golden jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef.
Our snack pioneer put hazelnut cream between layers of wafer to create a chocolatey delight still hugely popular here in the city. The recipe has remained largely unchanged, though I think I read that the nut content has increased.
According to the company’s website, the hazelnuts used in the original came from the Naples area, which led to the designation for the Schnitten as Neapolitaner. It’s a moniker still found on the packet.
The cathedral logo found on that trademark pink packaging also pays tribute to the product’s historical origins and the company’s association with Austria’s capital.
(Stephansplatz, around 1893, and home to the first Manner business; printed by Max Jaffé and photographed by Carl von Zamboni; Wien Museum Inv.-Nr. 94682; excerpt reproduced with permission under the terms of the CC0 licence)
The manufacturers still retain their Viennese roots, with the headquarters and a factory in Vienna’s 17th district (Hernals). You can catch the chocolate smell as you walk past, if the wind is right.
You might spot the Manner old timer tram or horse-drawn carriage around the city, too, all dressed in pink and displaying the logo.
If you fancy giving Mr. Manner’s wafers a try, every supermarket should stock the Schnitten. If they don’t, something has gone very wrong with society.
The Manner flagship store on Stephansplatz also has their products (of course), many in gift-friendly packaging. Josef Manner’s original design is now joined by various alternatives, including new shapes and flavours.
P.S. You may recall seeing the wafers in a less likely place than a Vienna cafe or supermarket. Arnold Schwarzenegger (yes, that one) is rumored to be a fan and a cyborg Arnie can be seen buying a packet in the film, Terminator 3.