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Haigh’s Chocolates Goes Native for a Cause

By Madelyn Miller

South Australia is famous for its food and wine. But one of the highlights for any trip for me is chocolate. So I was delighted to learn on a recent trip to Adelaide, Australia that Australia’s fine chocolate maker Haigh’s has created a unique range of products using native Australian ingredients.

So now the current Australian trend for “Bush Tucker” which uses the foods and flavors of Australia’s native people can  even be found in chocolates and candy.

Haigh’s Chocolates has a long tradition of using natural fruits in its centres – experience that has been used to develop the new range.

The Australian Collection consists of four products: Wattle Seed Crunch, Quandong Chocolate, Lemon Myrtle Cream and Macadamia Honey Nougat.

Joint managing director of Haigh’s Chocolates, Mr Simon Haigh, said the company had spent a long time experimenting with different bush tucker tastes before developing the Australian Collection. 

“Some of the processes we created are relatively new for native foods, for example we believe this is the first time quandongs have been glacéd, or  crystallised,” Mr Haigh said.

Haigh’s tradition of using fruits in its centres dates back to company founder Alfred Haigh.

“Alfred became famous for his Fruit Chocolates soon after he opened his first store on Beehive Corner in Adelaide in 1915, and they are still hugely popular today,” Mr Haigh said.  “He sourced the finest dried fruits in Australia and we are maintaining that philosophy in buying macadamias, wattle seeds, lemon myrtle and quandongs.”

Part proceeds of the Australian Collection sales will be donated to the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide to help equip the Museum of Economic Botany for the future.

The director of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, Mr Stephen Forbes, said the museum had played an important role in educating the South Australian public about plants used by humans around the world since opening in 1881.

“Dr M. R. Schomburgk, then director of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, was a passionate botanist,” Mr Forbes said.  “He had the museum built to display a large collection of various types of fruit and seed to demonstrate the economic uses of plants, promote plant-based industries and illustrate developments in botanical science.

“Some of the proceeds from the Australian Collection sales will be used to assist in making the museum as integral in promoting the importance of the plant world to future generations as it was in the past.”

The museum is classified by the National Trust and listed on the Registers of the National Estate, State Heritage and City of Adelaide Heritage Items.

Haigh’s Chocolates’ Australian Collection will be sold in a beautifully designed 225-gram gift box.

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