Thursday, January 24, 2013

OZ/NZ Epic Trip Roundup - Part 4 - No Darrel Lea

With a great deal of European influence, Australia and New Zealand really have a handle on fine chocolates. Not only do they import many high quality brands, but they also have several chocolate makers of their own. Many of these chocolate makers have their own shops, as well as selling in stores all over both countries.  While the selection was fantastic, I had my sites set on one brand in particular Darrel Lea.
When I think about Australian chocolate, Darrel Lea is the first name that pops into my head.  It's not a very well known brand around the world, but my Australian friends and co-candy fanatics sing its praises regularly.  I was really excited at the idea of sampling some of this chocolate.  However, a few month before I left, I read that Darrel Lea was filing for bankruptsy, and there was a question about whether or not they would remain in business.  I was worried that because of bad management, I wouldn't get to sample this Australian institution.  As time went on I read more on the company and it appeared that they would survive this problem, and with the encouragement from my Australian friends, I was assured that I would be able to find some Darrel Lea chocolate on my adventure.  After all, you can't just wipe out a huge candy institution like that in such a short time... or so I thought
As it turns out, you can pretty much wipe out a huge candy company in a matter of months.  I did come across one tourist shop selling Darrel Lea chocolate,  near the beginning of my journey, and that was it.  I thought, stupidly, that I could look around and see what other Darrel Lea treats I could find before buying, and ended up not being able to sample any.  The store in these photographs is no longer a Darrel Lea store, instead it's a money exchange/variety store.  I can't believe that in such a short time a candy company known all over the world could be zapped into nothingness.  I'm a little sad that I never got to sample this classic Australian chocolate, but fortunately there were many other treats to be had, and I assure you I sampled plenty of them.


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