Mariánskolázeňské oplatky (Mariánské Lázně wafer)
CZO Mariánskolázeňské oplatky are Czech wafers which consist of two thin sheets held together by a layer of filling. A distinction is made between the hazelnut and cocoa varieties, according to the type of filling. They are round and regular in shape with a slightly crumbled edge, break with a distinctive crack and bear a characteristic relief in the form of a stylised garland of leaves around the circumference. The relief in the middle of the wafer varies according to the individual producer. Depending on the type of batter, the wafers are cream-coloured or light brown. They are crisp and well-baked, the filling has a granular texture and the taste, which reflects the raw materials used, is sweet. They are placed on the market packaged in aluminium foil, cartons and possibly plastic film, in quantities of 175 grams. Raw materials used: wheat flour, sugar, hardened fat, hazelnut kernels, wheat germ, milk fat, vegetable fat, cocoa, milk powder, dried egg yolk, wheat starch, salt, lecithin emulsifier, lemon flavouring, cinnamon, hazelnut flavouring, ethyl vanillin, almond flavouring.
The area of the municipality of Mariánské Lázně and of the municipality of Velká Hleďsebe, which forms part of the administrative district called Mariánské Lázně.
Method of production:
Production of the wafers begins with the preparation of the wafer batter using the above-mentioned raw materials. After being mixed, the batter is taken from the mixer to the rotary baking machine (the standard machine used to produce wafers); the cooked sheets are removed by hand and placed in racks. The racks are transported to a humidifying chamber, where the wafer sheets are humidified at a rate of 90 % for about five days. The bottom sheet is then sprinkled by hand with a mixture of sugar, fat, hazelnuts and other raw materials (according to the variety), the second sheet is placed on top and the two are baked together. After being measured out to the appropriate weight, the wafers are packaged in aluminium foil, placed in cartons and machine-wrapped. After being marked with an eat-by date, the cartons are stored in large cardboard boxes and transferred to a storeroom. Since the wafers are crisp and absorb moisture easily, they must be packaged directly at the production site so that their quality can be preserved and they can be monitored more closely.
The first references to spa wafers in Mariánské Lázně date from the 18th century. With the development of water cures, the original production of wafers by the inhabitants for their own consumption gradually grew into large-scale production for commercial purposes. Karel Reitenberger may be regarded as the founder of industrial production, which he began in 1856. Almost a hundred years later, the range of spa wafers was extended by Josef Homolka, who arrived from Vienna bringing his enhanced machinery and his own recipes for wafers made from chocolate-flavoured batter. In the minds of consumers, the wafers are clearly associated with the West Bohemian spa area, of which Mariánské Lázně is a major centre. Details of ingredients and production have been passed down from one generation to another in local bakeries. In recent times, the range of wafers was extended by the firm KLS KLIMENTOV s.r.o. in 1995.
Historical documents are stored in the town archives and local newspaper archives and at the firm Opavia-LU a.s. Many historical and present-day references to the wafers and their reputation can be found on different websites, e.g. the Hamelika website, which focuses on the history of Mariánské Lázně, the website of wafer producer Opavia-LU, a.s., and the website of the town of Mariánské Lázně, as well as in newspaper articles (Mariánskolázeňské Listy No 6/1994, Chebský deník of 13.5.2006, Chebsko of 21.12.2005). The town museum also contains many documents and exhibits on the history of the production of wafers in the area defined.
Reference: The European Commission