From strange food combinations, to unique drinks and our delicious natural resources, here are the South Australian food and drinks you need to try while you are here.
It wouldn’t be an unreasonable assumption to think that the food found all over Australia is the same. But for some reason, here in South Australia things seem to have happened a little differently.
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These little balls of fruit wrapped in chocolate are so delicious they were the one thing my daughter requested we bring her to Canada when we visited a few months ago.
While the original – and in my opinion the best – Fruchocs are made of apricot and milk chocolate, there are now multiple variations available, including cherry, strawberry and mango with milk, white or dark chocolate – there is even a plant-based version available too.
Fruchocs are available all over the state. Look out for them at petrol stations, supermarkets and delis. You can also visit the dedicated Fruchoc shops. You can find them in Glynde, McLaren Vale, Tanunda and Hahndorf.
Products are sold at these stores at factory prices, and you can sometimes see how the production happens and participate in tastings.
South Australia likes it’s chocolates, with another popular chocolate company. Haighs Chocolates was started in 1915. In 1922 they opened their store on the corner of Rundle Mall and King William Street, which is where you can still find their flagship store today.
Pop in to taste some of the delicious options available. They produce all sorts of chocolatey goodies, from individual flavoured chocolates and truffles to boxed selections and blocks of chocolate.
Haighs Chocolate are particularly popular around Easter time where they make Australian Easter Bilbies as well as the more traditional eggs.
If you are keen to learn about the production and grab some bargains right from the factory, you can visit the Haighs Chocolate Factory in Parkside to do a short tour and get your chocolate fix.
Otherwise, look out for their own stores, or find some of the products in supermarkets everywhere.
This strange sounding concoction is a typical Australian-style meat pie drowned in a chunky pea and ham soup, topped with tomato sauce.
The pie floater was initially developed back in the 1800s as a street food for blue collar workers and were sold from pie carts that plied the streets of Adelaide.
They soon became popular with late night revellers, who would eat one on their way home after a big night out.
While the pie carts are no longer found around the Adelaide streets, there are still a few places around the city you can pick up one of these local delicacies.
The best place to go anytime is to Café de Vili’s which operates 24/7, so you can always be guaranteed of a meal. It’s also possible here to choose the flavour of your pie from the many on the menu.
Fritz, or Bung Fritz as it’s sometimes called, is a hard food to describe. It’s a type of processed luncheon meat made into a roll about 8cm round.
It’s thought to have been originally made by someone called Fritz in the 1880’s and has a German influence – although it’s nothing like any other German sausage.
While there are always rumours that fritz is made from offcuts of meat and offal, that’s not actually true, it’s made with a mixture of lean meats, lamb, beef and pork, and mixed with flour and some seasonings to hold it all together.
Fritz is another item commen in the local school lunchboxes in the form of fritz-and-sauce-sandwiches. Chunks can be part of a picnic platter, or the fritz can even be fried like bacon and served for breakfast.
You will find fritz in the deli department of most supermarkets or at a local butchers.
Balfours Frogcakes have been eaten here in South Australia for almost 100 years and recently the frogcake has been listed as a South Australian Heritage Icon.
Made to look like a frog, these tasty treats consist of a square base of vanilla sponge cake, with a dollop of cream on top. The whole shape is then covered in fondant icing and decorated to look like a frog.
Commonly they come in green, pink, or brown colours. At certain times of the year they can be found in other colours too, such as local football or Christmas colours.
Frog cakes can occasionally be found at some cafés and supermarkets throughout the city, but to be sure of getting your local fix, make you way to the Balfours Cafe in the City Cross arcade, just off Rundle Mall.
Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee
Varieties of iced coffee can be found all over Australia, but every born and bred South Aussie will swear that is a Farmers Union Iced Coffee or it’s nothing (sounds like a good advertising slogan lol).
FUIC was originally developed as a special recipe just for the Royal Adelaide Show in 1977. It was so well recieved it became the most popular drink in SA, regularly selling more FUIC’s than Coca Cola. There’s just something about this taste that we all love.
FUIC can be found all over the state. Look in supermarkets, delis, service stations, takeaway shops, even at McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC.
Try the original flavour, or one of the newer versions. “Strong” is unsurprisingly a stronger flavour ice coffee, and “One” has no added sugar.
Coopers Pale Ale
Coopers Pale Ale is the most popular of the mass produced beers in South Australia. Coopers Brewery has been brewing beers since 1862, with this version of their pale ale now being available since 1989.
You will find it on tap in almost every pub, and in eskies at every BBQ. It’s a refreshing, crisp pale ale. The flavour is said to come from it’s fermentation in the bottle or keg.
This process leaves a little sediment in the bottle, so you will often see people rolling their Coopers Pale Ale bottle gently between their hands before opening it to distribute it.
You can find Coopers Pale Ale almost everywhere alcohol is sold.
Coffin Bay Oysters
Coffin Bay oysters are world famous for their large size and great taste. They are grown in the pristine waters off the coast of the Eyre Peninsula.
While you absolutely can travel the 700km from Adelaide to Coffin Bay to taste these delicious morsels just as they come out of the sea, they can also be found all over the state.
Look out for them in restaurants, particularly the higher end or seafood restaurants, and at markets and seafood wholesalers if you would like to buy some to serve at home.
Golden North Ice Cream
Golden North is not far off celebrating it’s 100th birthday. The company began in the town of Laura in South Australia’s mid-north in 1923, producing delicious ice cream from locally grown pasteurised milk.
While no longer owned by the same family, Golden North is still owned by South Australians and continues to produce ice cream in the same factory it did all that time ago.
In 2006 Golden North ice cream was declared an icon of South Australia. It is also proudly palm oil free, doing their part for the environment.
Today you can find Golden North ice cream all over the place. Look out for it in supermarkets and other places where ice cream is sold.
While you can take it home in tubs to share, also look out for the individual Giant Twins to eat on the go.
They now come in the original vanilla, honey (my favourite!) and an iced coffee flavour. They have recently introduced a plant-based range too, which so far can be found in tubs only in the supermarket.
These sweet buns are delicious, but they will definitely not help with your diet. They are a bit like a doughnut without the hole, sliced open and filled with cream and a small blob of strawberry jam, then dusted generously with icing sugar.
It is thought that they were originally brought here by the numerous German immigrants who live in the wine growing regions around Adelaide as they are similar to the Berliner.
They were renamed Kitchener buns to honour Lord Horatio Kitchener after WWI when anti-German sentiment was strong.
You can find Kitchener Buns in almost any bakery. They can also sometimes be found in supermarkets too.
Wine – of Any Variety
Since Adelaide is one of the ten wine capitals of the world, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of great local wines to be found. Whether it’s a full-bodied Barossa Shiraz, a McLaren Vale Grenache, or a crisp, cold climate Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc, you will not be disappointed.
I would recommend going wine tasting in at least one of the eighteen wine regions in South Australia to taste a whole range of the local wines, but if you can’t, make sure you enjoy a glass at dinner in any local restaurant.
One notable wine is produced by Langmeil Wines in the Barossa Valley. It’s 1843 Freedom Shiraz is produced from the oldest Shiraz vines in the world.
South Australia was bypassed by phylloxera, which wiped out many of the old vines worldwide, hence many of the oldest vines are now located here.
Arnotts YoYo Biscuits
I have only realised in recent years that Arnotts Yoyo biscuits are only sold right here in South Australia. Originally made by W Menz in the early 1900’s , Arnotts took over the production in 1962.
These are a plain, sweet biscuit that is flavoured with honey and vanilla, and this combination is delicious. While they are tasty just by themselves, they are the perfect biscuit for dunking into a hot cup of tea or coffee.
Arnotts makes about a million packets of Yoyos a year, and they are all sold here in SA. They can be found in supermarkets and convenience stores all over the state.
Want to learn about some of the South Australian foods on a tour? Take a look at the fabulous F Factor Food Tour. Katina is an Adelaide local with a passion for show visitors the best of our state. You will not only learn more about the food scene, but get to taste some of these too. Click here to book.
I hope you enjoy the unique food and drink from my home state. Which one is your favourite?
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