Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

World

Chocolate Santas in marzipan masks - a COVID-19 Christmas in Hungary

Chocolate Santas in marzipan masks - a COVID-19 Christmas in Hungary

Chocolate Santas wearing protective face masks are seen in the workshop of the Hungarian confectioner Laszlo Rimoczi, in Lajosmizse, Hungary, on November 20, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)

LAJOSMIZSE, Hungary: When confectioner Laszlo Rimoczi decided to put masks on his chocolate Santas in his small workshop in rural Hungary, he intended it as a light-hearted joke to raise people's spirits amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

But it turned out to be shrewd business move as orders surged online, and now he can hardly keep pace with demand.

"I think by the time Santa comes he will have to wear a mask because Santa has to show a good example to people," Rimoczi said, sitting in his workshop in the backyard of his village home in Lajosmizse, about 70km south of Budapest.

Hungarian confectioner Laszlo Rimoczi poses with chocolate Santas wearing protective face masks at his workshop, in Lajosmizse, Hungary, on November 20, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)
Hungarian confectioner Laszlo Rimoczi works on a chocolate Santa at his workshop, in Lajosmizse, Hungary, on November 20, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)

To keep up with orders, he has had to simplify the design and now produces about 100 Santas a day, using gluten-free Italian chocolate. He paints the hat red, and makes the masks from tiny white marzipan strips, adding the ribbons with icing.

Rimoczi has even had to change the design of his bigger chocolate Santas, which originally came without masks.

"They were wrapped, but we had to unwrap them and give them masks as our customers now only want masked Santas," he said.

His girlfriend helps with the wrapping.

Hungarian confectioner Laszlo Rimoczi works on a chocolate Santa at his workshop in Lajosmizse, Hungary, on November 20, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)
Chocolate Santas wearing protective face masks are seen in the workshop of the Hungarian confectioner Laszlo Rimoczi, in Lajosmizse, Hungary, on November 20, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)

Rimoczi's business - he also makes other chocolate treats and sells them in a small shop in his house - suffered losses as the pandemic hit in March.

While the masked Santas have been a boost, he doesn't expect it to last if vaccines help the world defeat the pandemic.

"I am sure next year I will sell only a fraction of these, as Santas will no longer have to wear a mask," he said with a smile.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source: Reuters

Advertisement

Also worth reading

Advertisement