Haigh's Chocolates Visitor Centre, Adelaide

In the heart of Adelaide City, there is a paradise for chocolate-lovers in the form of Haigh’s Chocolates Visitor Centre.

Haigh's Chocolates

Here, those with a sweet tooth can learn how the sumptuous flavours are created and can sample some of the homemade goodness along the way.

The History of Haigh’s Chocolates

Haigh’s Chocolates is the oldest family-owned chocolate maker in the whole of Australia and continues to promote a community vibe throughout its shops and factories. Today, it is run by fourth-generation Haighs who took over the company in the 70s.

Since its conception, Haigh’s has focused on creating delicious flavours for all the family, dedicating itself to producing better chocolates year upon year. It initially opened in May 1915, when Alfred E Haigh opened its flagship store on King William Street in Adelaide.

Right off the bat it experimented with unique flavours, including chocolate-covered fruit centres, which are still a firm favourite with visitors today.

By 1917, business was absolutely booming, and Alfred began expanding into Parkside South Australia, where he built a small factory that would become the Visitors Centre. After that, in 1922, he opened a shop on Beehive Corner, which is considered Haigh’s flagship store today. Over the year, several more shops have opened up around South Australia, with the first shop outside of the area opened in Melbourne in 1965.

How they make the Chocolate

The process of making bean into beloved chocolate is through a long circuit of steps.

To begin making chocolate, the factory must first decide in the type of beans to use. The beans will always be a form of cacao chocolate the masters want to make, but them always being a form of cacao beans.

Once the Factory has been delivered to the Factory, they begin roasting the beans. Typically, from 10 to 35 minutes, with the length of roast changing the end taste.

Next the beans must go through a refining process, which is developed into two steps. First, the beans will be sent through a large crushing machine, which grinds and cracks the beans. Then a large ball mill or roll refiner will grind even further, creating a smooth chocolate bean texture, similar to cocoa powder.

After this, there is the simple process of combining all the ingredients of chocolate together. Mixing the sugar, milk powder and cocoa butter together to form a base chocolate. The factory can further the flavours and style of chocolate by adding particular flavours to the chocolate. Adding further cocoa for a darker chocolate, or spices to create a spicy chocolate bar.

After the flavour is perfected, the forming of the chocolate is next on the agenda. With the smooth liquid slowly poured into a number of the moulds, including shells, bars, blocks, and more!

Chocolate Making at Haigh’s

At Haigh’s, the chocolate-making process is both traditional and innovative. The chocolatiers’ passion for chocolate making remains, but they are always on the hunt for new flavours.

The cocoa beans are roasted on-site to ensure the delicious flavours remain intact, while the unique blends of premium milk and dark chocolate are what make Haigh’s so well-loved throughout Australia.

The cooking process combines artisan skills passed down through generations and modern manufacturing to create innovative flavours that can’t be found anywhere else.

Haighs Chocolate Factory Tour

Visitors flock to join Haighs chocolate tour to learn more about the chocolate-making process and to take a tour around the factory to see how things run. Every day, numerous tours showcase the tools and machines that are used, the unique skills that are honed and harnessed by the chocolatiers, and the distinct flavours that stem from the mix of fresh ingredients and decades-old recipes.

While wandering around, you’ll learn about the history of Haigh’s, get an insight into its chocolate-making processes, and be able to sample some of the sumptuous flavours for yourself.

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