Sacher Torte Day: From Torte to Tort
Quote for Today: The cake that launched a thousand hips” Steph Bennion
Today is National Sacher Torte Day. This torte is a form of Chocolate Cake that has become one of Austria’s culinary specialties. In 1832, Prince Wenzel Van Metter called for his chef to create a special dessert for some important guests visiting Austria. His chef conveniently became ill and passed the task over to his 16 year old, second year apprentice, Franz Sacher. With a significant amount of pressure to please his master, Franz created this famous torte to the delight of the Prince’s guests. Afterwards, this grand torte seemed to be swept under the rug and received no more attention. Franz completed his apprenticeship and went about his way.
Sacher’s eldest son Eduard followed his father’s path and trained with the Royal and Imperial Pastry Chef at the Demel Bakery. Here he perfected his father’s torte turning it into the classic form we see today. The torte was originally sold at the Demel Bakery and then later at the Hotel Sacher established by Eduard in 1876. After Eduard and his wife’s passing, the Hotel Sacher fell into bankruptcy in 1934. Eduard’s son, Eduard Sacher, Jr., found employment at the Demel Bakery and brought along with him the sole distribution rights to the Eduard-Sacher-Torte.
Legal issues over the right to this name began in 1938 between the Demel Bakery and the new owners of the Hotel Sacher. This battle was intense and waged on until the outbreak of World War II and the subsequent Allied Occupation. In 1954, the hotel owners sued Demel claiming trademark rights to the name “Original Sacher Torte” and Demel countered claiming they had purchased these rights. Through the rest of the 50‘s into the 60‘s they waged an exhausting, no holds barred battle that finally ended in 1963. The two factions finally settled out of court with the Sacher Hotel holding the rights to the phrase “Original Sachertorte” while conceding to Demel the authority to label its product with a seal reading “Eduard-Sacher-Torte.” Isn’t it refreshing to see children playing and getting along well with one another. Teach them better by having the neighborhood kids and their babysitters congregating together this New Year’s Eve creating dishes from the new Sacher Cookbook while the adults enjoy the evening. Have all the adults pitch-in to hire a cleaning crew the next day to ring in the New Year.
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