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Published May 25th 2014
It's Australia's home of fine chocolate
When you think of fine chocolate you automatically think of Switzerland, but South Australia has been having a love affair with fine chocolate since the beginning of the nineteen hundreds.
Here in South Australia we have a tradition with chocolate, whether it's iconic institutions like Menz Fruchos and Haigh's or newer entries into the field like Cocolat or Bracegirdle's House of Fine Chocolate, to mention but a few.
This delicious icon has been around since 1915, when Alfred E Haigh opened the doors to his very own store at 34 King William Street in the city. In 1919 he built a small factory behind the family home in Parkside, which now houses the Haigh's Visitor's centre.
Today, the Beehive Corner store which has been in existence since 1922 is a renowned and favourite chocolate stop at the end of Rundle Mall.
Haigh's Beehive Corner Store
Haigh's proudly continues as the oldest family owned chocolate manufacturing business in Australian, now run by the fourth generation with over 400 employees and 14 retail stores across the country.
I saw a post on the Fruchocs' Facebook page the other day which said: "What's a Fruchoc, asked no South Australian ever!" and I think it sums up our love affair with the round apricot and peach filled chocolate ball.
They first appeared in 1948, a new product by Menz, the company who brought us Yo Yo biscuits and Crown mints. In 1992, Menz was taken over by Robern, another long running South Australian family business.
The new business changed its name to Robern Menz and in 1995 they relocated their fruit and confectionary manufacturing to the Glynburn Road site. Then in 2002 the humble Fruchoc was actually named as a South Australian icon by the National Trust.
Today you can join the Fruchoc Appreciation Society where you pledge to enjoy Fruchos at every opportunity; you wouldn't be South Australian if you weren't a member!
What started out the back of Graeme and Joy Foristal restaurant in March 1981 has today become Melba's Chocolates and Confectionery. Another renowned South Australian chocolate and confectionary maker.
You can visit their working factory in the Adelaide Hills at Woodside and sample some of their products like their old fashioned 1 inch Licorice or the more interesting chocolate creations of Cow Pats or Sheep Nuts!
Cocolat started in 2004 as a small cake shop in Hyde Park, using only the best chocolate to create divine cakes. It has grown into a thriving franchise with an artisan kitchen in Balhannah supplying the stores across Adelaide and soon interstate.
Deserts to die for at Cocolat!
Their mission is to become Australia's leading Dessert Destination and with the calibre of chocolate treats they are well on their way. It's a perfect place to take a break after shopping or enjoy a late night snack or dessert before heading home after a night out.
With its beginnings in a renovated heritage building on Jetty Road at Glenelg, Bracegirdle's House of Fine Chocolate has become synonymous with fine hand–made chocolates. Their accomplishments including winning Gold Awards at the Adelaide Show for the past three years and supplying Cirque du Soleil with opening night treats.
You can also find them in Toorak Gardens and McLaren Vale where they provide, in their own words, "…divine hot chocolate, decadent desserts and deliciously smooth coffee…" and only reinforce this historic love of chocolate in South Australia.
So if you are looking to indulge your inner chocoholic, then do yourself a favour and visit one of South Australia's fabulous chocolaterias!
Don't forget Steven ter Horst Chocolatier on Rundle Street. Delicious chocolates and amazing desserts. Chantelle is my favourite chocolate, the cocoa covering the chocolate shell holing in a beautifully balanced chilli chocolate ganache. It's hard to choose a favourite dessert, they really are all delicious and a range of chocolate, fruit or creamy ones to choose from. Maybe Nuts About Chocolate would just come out in front.