Austrian wafers, signs, “Song of Ice and Fire”

When skiing, we usually take food with us and always have, even when we first started to ski in Austria. Eating out in restaurants on the slopes has always seemed a mite expensive, though we do indulge on special occasions. On our first ski holidays, a ubiquitous component was a wafer bar with hazelnut /chocolate called Manner. A Google search told me that Manner is an old Austrian product (which makes a lot of sense since our first ski holidays were invariably in Austria) made by a company founded in 1898 by Josef Manner 1. These Neapolitan wafers (the hazelnuts come from Naples) are still being made. The package design seems to have changed little, if at all, and is very evocative, for me, of my first skiing holidays in the early seventies.

An abiding memory is of unpacking a “matured” Manner bar at lunch time. The maturing process involved smashing the bars inadvertently on chairlifts, and/or crushing by falling on them. And a “matured” bar had lost almost all its original structure and was often so crumbly it could be poured out of the bag. This provided a quite unique snack in terms of both texture and taste. Yummy!

I was reminded of Manners, yesterday, when I was taken to TKMax and found a Spitz wafer bar in the coffee shop. This, too, contained hazelnut chocolate and it also has a long history (even longer than Manner in fact) since the Spitz company started in Austria in 1857!

More silly signs have come to my attention since I last blogged and I thought I would share them.

At present, I am reading “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R R Martin (and might be for the next year or two!). I am enjoying the read, but it is a monster of a series of books. I am currently on my fourth book; this is part 2 of volume 3. There are, I think, 2 more published volumes and Martin is still writing. According to Wikipedia, he has two more volumes planned. There are so many aspects of this epic fantasy that boggle my imagination that I don’t know where to start. But here are a couple that impressed me. The audio book of volume 3 runs for 48.5 hours and the list of characters at the end of part 2, vol 3 runs for 54 pages with around 30 names on each page; this is just “the list”. Suffice it to say that it is long and complex, but I would recommend it.

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