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Australia has its own indigenous chocolates. Haigh's from Adelaide, South Australia. They make dark chocolate and milk chocolate, Australian chocolate at its unfinest. Haigh's makes a dark chocolate bar with cardamom. Haigh's has stores in Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide. Come visit the chocolate republic with Doug of Doug's Republic

Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Haigh's Dark Chocolate with Cardamom

     
Haigh's Dark Chocolate With Cardamom
Posted:  12 October 2010    3.0 
Haigh's Dark Chocolate At 52% cocoa solids, Haigh's dark chocolate isn't a milk enriched bar posing as a dark one. It's the genuine article. Yet as I ate it and mentally subtracted the rich cardamom taste from each bite, my taste buds realized the dark chocolate wasn't very smooth or tasty.    
Avg price/gram: USD 0.072   Cocoa %: 52  Size: 100g  Australian chocolate 
       


Haigh's chocolates, an Australian institution since 1915.   Everyone raves about these chocolates.  The company web site reveals how founder Alfred Haigh introduced the South Australian town of Mt. Gambier to ice-cream and silent picture shows in the early twentieth century.  He set up shop in Adelaide in 1915 and today the company has six stores in Adelaide, five in Melbourne, and one in Sydney.

I didn't know about Haigh's when I passed through Adelaide, and I later regretted not doing the factory tour -- well, until last week, when Aussie Dave included this Dark Chocolate With Cardamom bar in his latest parcel.

Haigh's says it is "very proud to be one of only a few specialist chocolate retailers in the world whose chocolate making still begins with the raw cocoa bean."  Then there's the customary insistence on using only the finest ingredients and "having complete control from start to finish."

Great.  Haigh's admits they have full control, so they can take full responsibility for this bar being a loser.  As of this writing, this is the only Haigh's bar I've ever tasted.  It would've been better had my first experience been with a milk or a plain dark.  But the day before my parcel was to leave Australia, Aussie Dave underwent a chocoholic attack and ravaged the parcel.  A Haigh's milk and some other nut bars were the casualties. 

Cardamom in the chocolate isn't what put me off.  I'm one of the few men in this world who'd be thrilled at the prospect of cardamom in my chocolate.  I love cardamom in tea and in Indian food.  Why wouldn't I love it in chocolate?  I probably would, in a decent well-made chocolate bar. I'm afraid this wasn't it.

At 52% cocoa solids, Haigh's dark chocolate isn't a milk enriched bar posing as a dark one.   It's the genuine article. Yet as I ate it and mentally subtracted the rich cardamom taste from each bite, my taste buds realized the dark chocolate on its own wasn't very smooth or tasty.  These bars don't sell for a song in the Haigh's stores.  For these prices, Haigh's should be delivering quality that exceeds or at least is on par with a reliable Swiss chocolate import.  Sorry, Haigh's doesn't.  This Haigh's bar was not better than any single brand I ever purchased at my local Whole Foods in Studio City during my daily California chocoholic fixes in 2003-05 for less than half the price per gram. Back where I come from, only the government could get away with passing off half-assed quality at more-than-market prices and continue to thrive.

Forgive me for being gravely disappointed.  All of Australia  has a love affair with Haigh's.  It became a cliche.  Australian kids must be brainwashed at young ages to worship Haigh's.   Native South Australian Aussie Dave wouldn't stop defending Haigh's virtues even as he had his stomach pumped after eating one of their milk chocolate bars.    Believe it or not, there was once a verse in Australia's national anthem that went like this:

Australians all let us enjoy

A chocolate specialty

Of rich cacao, such taste endowed

In Haigh's high quality

Their chocolates are of bean to bar

We trust Australians care

A tasty treat so hard to beat

Advance Australia Fair

It's chocolate jade from Adelaide

Advance Australia Fair 

In the 1990's, as quality chocolate imports flooded into the continent, Australians finally began to realize Haigh's might not be the prince of chocolate they previously believed and the verse was dropped.  Hopefully, dropping the entire national anthem isn't far behind.


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  Australia has its own indigenous chocolates. Haigh's from Adelaide, South Australia. They make dark chocolate and milk chocolate, Australian chocolate at its unfinest. Haigh's makes a dark chocolate bar with cardamom. Haigh's has stores in Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide. Come visit the chocolate republic with Doug of Doug's Republic