Choc Apricot Balls – The Care Package! (Secret code for: FRUCHOCS!)

Fruchocs / Choc Apricot Balls

An emergency supply of Fruchocs (also known as Choc Apricot Balls) has been rushed to me!

Tonight I received a gift from the gods – a care package of Fruchocs. Not just regular Fruchocs but Mini Fruchocs, Giant Fruchocs and even Dark Fruchocs! In short, an orgasmic express shipment of taste sensation. Yes, the gods smiled on me and it rained – not cats and dogs – but Fruchocs and Choc Apricot Balls.

If you live outside South Australia, you may know them as Menz Choc Apricot Balls. (And if you don’t know them then you need get with the program!)

As an ex-Adelaidian, I know them as Fruchocs. As a small boy, I knew them from the local shop , from visits to the “pictures”, from visits to the supermarket and the Royal Adelaide Show. Fruchocs were always a treat – something special meant to be savoured – each individual ball to be enjoyed slowly.

But eventually I grew up and moved away from Adelaide. And all the things that were unique to Adelaide became unavailable to me unless I flew back to visit parents and friends. But, as I wrote recently, not anymore – Fruchocs have gone national. They’re known as Choc Apricot Balls outside of South Australia – but whatever, they’re known as, they are a must-have! Coles supermarkets have been selling them nationally and IGA supermarkets have begun selling other Menz products like Choccy Snakes & Choccy Froggys.

In an even later discovery, I have realised that the internet has reached Adelaide and you can now buy Fruchocs online and have them rushed to you wherever you are! You can even have them sent Express Post to make sure you get them urgently!

The link is HERE

I say thank you to the Fruchoc gods for my care package and may the Fru be with you all!

Fruchocs OnLine Shop

Order Fruchocs on line!


Fruchocs are now in Sydney! And other Adelaide classics….Choccy Snakes & Choccy Froggys!

Mr Fruchoc

Mr Fruchoc with fans

Oh my god….if you wait long enough, anything and everything can happen!

I’ve been living in Sydney for almost three decades and yet I have to fly back to Adelaide if I want to enjoy some of the best Adelaide Icons. If you’re from Adelaide, you know what I’m talking about. Balfours Pasties, Woodies Lemonade and Menz Fruchocs.

But not anymore. Praise Jesus!!!!

Menz Fruchocs

Menz Fruchocs now available at Coles Supermarkets outside of South Australia.

They’ve had to change the name (to protect the innocent). They are now called Menz Choc Apricot Balls and you can get them at Coles Supermarkets in Sydney (and around Australia apparently). It’s a miracle! Ex-Adelaide people, REJOICE!

But it isn’t just Fruchocs…er Menz Choc Apricot Balls…it’s also another couple of classic Adelaide Menz Icons: Choccy Snakes and Choccy Froggys! My flatmate’s dream of losing weight may now be lost forever – he only has to walk to the local supermarket to get a hit!

Yes, the world’s most awful supermarket – IGA Dulwich Hill – is selling Choccy Snakes and Choccy Froggys! If they are then you can bet other IGA supermarkets are doing the same thing (only better)! And I do have photographic evidence…

Menz classics hit Sydney

Menz Choccy Snakes and Choccy Froggys are now available in Sydney via IGA Supermarkets

This is big! It’s about time these and more Adelaide Icons went national! So ex-Adelaidians get out your wallet and get into Coles & IGA stores now!

And for everyone else….it’s about time you tried the taste of some true Adelaide legends!

Turn up your radio!

Had a dream about this absolute classic song last night. Don’t know why. But who cares – it’s made me reconnect with this fabtastic song from Australian group Masters Apprentices. I can’t hear this song without wanting to jump up and start dancing as if I’m a 60s go-go dancer! Oh, and dig that crazy camera work!

From Wikipedia:
The Masters Apprentices (or The Masters to fans) were an Australian rock band fronted by mainstay Jim Keays on lead vocals, which formed in 1965 in Adelaide, South Australia, relocated to Melbourne in February 1967 and attempted to break into the United Kingdom market from 1970, before disbanding in 1972. Their popular Australian singles are “Undecided”, “Living in a Child’s Dream”, “5:10 Man”, “Think About Tomorrow Today”, “Turn Up Your Radio” and “Because I Love You”. The band launched the career of bass guitarist, Glenn Wheatley, later a music industry entrepreneur and an artist manager for both Little River Band and John Farnham. The band reformed periodically, including in 1987–1988 and again subsequently; they were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame in 1998 alongside The Angels.

At the Fritzoneum, Lobethal

David & Ben outside the Fritzoneum

David & Ben outside the Fritzoneum

The day after Christmas, we were invited to go to Lobethal to visit friends David & Ben. They spoilt us rotten with food, drinks, presents, home-baked goodies and more. They also had three lovely little dogs that I just adored.

David & Ben live in this big ‘ole house on a huge block of land in Lobethal which is a country town outside Adelaide. Ben came into town and picked us up and drove us back to Lobethal which was very nice. We also got a life home as well. V.v.civilised!

The big excitement of the day for me was when I found out David & Ben’s home is the very house where Fritz was invented! I zoned out there for a while, I just about pooped my pants with excitement. The House of Fritz. The Fritzoneum. The Museum of Contemporary Fritz? I immediately had visions of escorted tours of the house and busloads of “in the know” tourists descending upon Lobethal to pay homage.

Only very few in South Australia would not have experienced a "Fritz & Sauce" sandwich.

What does Wikipedia say?

Devon is a type of manufactured meat product sold in Australia and New Zealand. It is usually served in a sandwich, often with tomato sauce and can also be fried in slices. Typical commercial preparations list the major ingredient as “Meat including Pork”. It is usually composed of several types of pork, basic spices, and a binder. One popular brand, Primo, uses the same ingredient list for both Luncheon and Veal German, with the exception being the addition of red wine powder to the latter, a more expensive, product.

It is referred to as “Polony” in Western Australia, “Luncheon” in Queensland and northern areas of New Zealand, “Fritz” in South Australia and far western areas of New South Wales, “Belgium” or “Rokeby Roast” in Tasmania and southern New Zealand and “Devon” in Victoria and East New South Wales.

Devon would be classed as “Luncheon Meat” in the UK. It is similar in appearance and taste to boloney. Originally known in some parts of Australia as “German sausage”, this name fell out of favour during World War I when Australia was at war with Germany. Gelbwurst, a Bavarian sausage, is also very similar to Devon.

And what of Lobethal?

LOBETHAL (Meaning Valley of Praise) is set in the picturesque Adelaide Hills, about 40km SE of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

At the close of an open-air Thanksgiving Service on the 4th of May 1842 Pastor Fritzsche, The Founder of Lobethal, quoted the 26th  verse of the 20th chapter of the Second Book of Chronicles: “Am vierten Tage aber Kamen sie zusammen in Lobethal: denn darselbst lobten sie den Herrn. Daher heisset die Stätte Lobethal, bis auf diesen Tag.”

Which in Luther’s translation of the Bible reads:

And on the fourth day assembled themselves in Lobethal: for here they blessed the Lord. Therefore the name of the same place was called Lobethal unto this day”

To this day Lobethal has remained rich in the history of its German pioneers.

The popular smallgoods FRITZ (peculiar to South Australia), was named after Fritz Eisenberg, an early butcher and sausage maker, who first made it in his Lobethal Main Street shop. The shop which was built in the mid 19th century and added to in the late 19th century, still remains and is now a private home.

The famous Onkaparinga Woollen blankets were originally made in Lobethal, and the site is now used as weekend markets, as well as being a Business Incubator.

The Lutheran Manse, built for pastor Dr. Loessel in 1867, was the first two storey built in Lobethal, and is now used as a Christian Book Shop, and teachers residence. Behind the Manse is the original Lutheran Church, built in 1843-1845,for Pastor Fritzsche, and known as “Zum Weinberge Christi”. It is the oldest Lutheran Church, still being used, in Australia. Between the old Church and the Manse is a Museum, which is built over the original Lutheran College, which was built in 1845 by Pastor Fritzsche, and was the first seminary built in Australia. The Museum contains much memorabilia and early artefacts.

The “Lovers Trees”

Behind the church is Pastor Frizsche’s grave and nearby Lovers Trees. It is said that in the early days of Lobethal’s settlement two young lovers were to be married, however a week before the wedding the bride-to-be died, and was buried near the church. The bridegroom was devastated, and pined away, dieing of a broken heart a month later. He was buried next to his wife-to-be and they shared the same tombstone. A short time later, two pine trees began to grow above their graves, with there branches intertwined. Today these two trees still stand as a tribute to their love and are over 65feet tall.

There are many other old buildings and reminders of Lobethal’s history that form a total of 24 locations that can be viewed by following:
a. The Lobethal Heritage Walk (around the town)
b. The Lobethal Heritage Drive (around the surrounding district)


So David & Ben are living right in the middle of all this history…their basement was where the experiments and development of Fritz began. I didn’t go down there but I imagine you could just feel the history. Well, if you were a South Aussie like me! 😉

It turned out to be a really enjoyable day for us – with a bit of history thrown in!


The House of Fritz, Lobethal

Dogs of the Fritzoneum

Attention: Ex-Adelaidians: Balfours in Sydney

Balfours Pasties in Sydney

Balfours Pasties in Sydney. Ohhh yeahhhh!

Okay, so I only had to wait 27 years to be able to buy a Balfours Pasty in Sydney. And it isn’t even a full-sized one, but a Balfours Party Pasty. Still, wow….I can buy Balfours Party Pasties in Sydney!!!! And for those that love them, Balfours Party Pies and Sausage Rolls too!

Are you listening ex-Adelaidians. Finally some results after Balfours having bought a major bakery on the central coast of Sydney ages ago. Finally, we can buy what the lady at the Balfours NSW switchboard once called “The Adelaide Product” (as in “Oh we don’t sell the Adelaide product in Sydney.”)

Where is this happening? Well, one place only that I’ve been to and that’s Franklins at Ashfield Mall. Some IGA supermarkets have started selling Balfours Premium Pies along with buns, muffins, cakes and so on. But not the “Traditional” (Adelaide) pies, pasties & sausage rolls.

Now I’d much prefer to be able to buy the full sized ones but party-sized pasties will do for now. At least it is cheaper than paying for airfares and accommodation in Adelaide to buy a pasty…roughly $500 a pasty! These are about $6 for 12. Sensible price! And they’re using the correct classic logo too.

The Balfours Logo

Why Balfours aren’t promoting their range with a proper TV campaign I have no idea. They always seem to half do things. Come on Balfours, we need to convert some Sydney-siders to the “Cult of Balfour”. Look, we can even sell a Pasty in the shape of an iPhone – we’ll call it an iBalf! That’ll get Gen-Y into it!

I am as happy as a pig in shit about being able to buy Balfours traditional pasties in Sydney!

I’ve been to Franklins at Ashfield Mall more than I would ever normally bother to go there…they have me hooked! They have the monopoly on traditional Balfours stuff!

In fact, I have some in the oven heating up right now. Please god, make sure they keep doing it.

You know what, I think it is time to watch that TV commercial again…I may shed a tear.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Balfours TV advert on Flickr – Photo …“, posted with vodpod


Pearl’s A Singer

I’ve been travelling down memory lane to some of the one-off hits I loved as a teenager growing up in Adelaide in the 70s. We had a TV show every Saturday called “Music Express” which was two hours of pop videos. They played all the expected hits but sometimes a few things that ended up being big in Adelaide and not so much in other states. If I looked through my 1,100 7″ vinyl singles at the storage centre, I’m sure I’d find most of them!

Anyway, this nostalgia trip all started because the song “Pearl’s A Singer” came into my head last week and I went searching for it on Youtube. I wanted to see the actual video clip – that was more important than perfect sound quality in my nostalgia quest. Thank you, Mr. Youtube for having it on there. Elkie Brooks’ voice is stunning….

And while we’re on the 70s, I think I will travel to Rio, using the music for flight…..

And here’s something from Adelaide itself – I am gobsmacked that this is even on Youtube. The guy with the afro hair is Andy Armstrong – he was my boss at CC Records. I worked at CC Records West Lakes on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings – my very first job. I used to hang around CC Records almost every afternoon after work and got to know the people who worked there. Eventually they offered me a job! Those were the days of $6.99 LPs and $7.99 cassettes! But anyway, back to this classic…Evan Jones & Ynot – Don’t You Love Summertime. And yes, I do have the vinyl single!

Now, if only I could find “Piano Man” by Thelma Houston, my nostalgia trip for the week would be complete. It seems Youtube has never heard of it. It isn’t that old…only 36 years or so 😉

What were you watching on TV in 1976?

TV Guide Program Listing for 13 May 1976

You’ll need to click on the image above to see the full sized version and to read the program listings.

This is an actual scan of a TV Guide issue dated May 8, 1976. TV Guide was an Adelaide-only magazine that competed with the national magazines – TV Week and TV Times. It was smaller, cheaper and often carried unique content including local stories and interviews.

I found this edition of TV Guide recently and started looking through it – remembering the TV shows I was watching back then – some 34 years ago! Back when TV was everything – there was no computers, DVDs (not even home video!), mobile phones, pay TV, internet etc. Most families were pretty much glued to the TV as their primary form of entertainment – most cities had Channels 2, 7, 9 and 10 (or 0). In my family we still had a black & white TV in 1976 – colour television came to Australia in March 1975 but it would be several years before we could afford to “go colour”. When something special was on, we all trundled around to a friend or neighbours house to watch it on their colour set.

I’ve marked the shows I liked watching with red dots and those shows that were unique to Adelaide with a blue dot. I notice there’s a stack of British comedy shows marked with red dots – we really lived and breathed British comedy back then. Channel 7 even designated one night a week as “British Comedy Night.” The Dick Emery Show, No Honestly, Man About The House…they were all must-sees for me. You don’t see much of them on TV thesedays but you still do see American sitcoms like I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched and Hogan’s Heroes. Thanks to Pay TV and digital TV channels, these shows are still showing over 40 years after they were made. (And people are still watching them!)

Australian night-time soapies like Number 96 and The Box were still going and I was hooked on both of them. They both featured Gay characters and The Box even had a lesbian – Vicky Stafford. She was a total bitch but we still loved her. When I think about similar shows on Australian TV now, you just realise how far ahead of their time 96 and The Box were.

What cracks me up looking at this old Adelaide TV Guide listing is a couple of the Adelaide only “advertorial” type shows. “A Touch of Elegance” was a one hour show hosted by Adelaide sophisticate Jaye Walton. I can still remember being home from school one day and hearing her say to someone from a Department Store (about a particular perfume), “oh, it’s only $98 dollars? That’s quite reasonable – you could buy two.”  I just about passed out on the floor. The thought of buying anything for $98, let alone something as flaky and useless as a bottle of perfume was absolutely shocking to me.

It would have been shocking to my Mum & Dad as well. We were a poor-ish, working class family living in a “Housing Trust” house. My first salary at age 17 was $72.10 – seven ten dollar notes, a two dollar note (not coin – they hadn’t been introduced yet) and a ten cent piece. And this was a couple of years after I’d seen this particular episode of “Touch of Elegance.”

Then there’s the 5 minute advertorials that featured on Channel 9 in the afternoons each day. Thursday May 13, 1976 it was “Feres Trabilsie” with Head Start To Beauty. Feres ran an upmarket hair salon for the ladies in town. Other days it could be “Figurama” with Pat Davies – a local fitness salon guru giving the ladies all the benefits of electric massage belts etc. Another hairdresser was “Joseph” and he had his own 5 minute spot each week. He would say (in an outrageously foreign accent) “Zees noo ‘airsty-els aye áve imported from Parr-eee.”

I guess these 5 minutes spots must have worked because they went on for years and these people became mini-celebs in little old Adelaide. Their salons always seemed busy so the ladies at home watching daytime TV must have been lapping up every word!

Adelaide also had its own kids TV shows as well. “Channel Niners” and “Young Seven.” I won a prize on a phone competition on “Young Seven” once back in 1970 – I am still waiting for the prize to be delivered! Bastards never sent it. It was 24 cans of Coke and a 7 point certificate. If you got seven 7 point certificates, you were presented with a free bike on TV. Needless to say, I never got a free bike!

Finally, looking at this TV Guide I remember “Epilogue” which was the last program on Channel 9 each night before the TV station closed for the night. Yes, they used to close overnight! “Epilogue” was a religious program that ran for about 5 minutes – they read out a prayer each night and showed religious imagery. They even had a little theme song that is burnt into my brain after all these decades…”Goodnight to you, goodnight to you, time for us to leave the air. Stay with us a moment more, it’s time for the evening prayer.”

Isn’t it tragic that I can still remember that over 30 years later!?! I can even tell you that prior to “Epilogue” was “On This Day” – a five minute historical recap (like the early newsreels at theatres) of events that happened in Australia’s history on that day throughout the 20th century.

But, and you won’t believe this…..just before the station really went off air for the evening, they played the national anthem which was then “God Save The Queen” and showed images of the Queen of England riding on a horse and inspecting the guards and so on. It had only been a couple of years earlier that we still had to stand up at the cinema for “God Save The Queen” each time we went to see a movie!

This particular TV Guide has transported me straight back to my childhood & teenage years. So many memories have come flooding back. For instance, looking at the program listing for “The Dudley Dog Show,” I can tell you that this was a children’s show with a character (man in a fur suit) called “Dudley Dog” and that, for a few years, Dudley had his own ice-cream sold in shops all over South Australia. It was, quite correctly, called a “Dudley Dog Ice-Cream” and the jingle went “Dudley Dog ice-cream, it’s such a nice cream…”

Those men-in-fur-costumes were big on Adelaide kids TV – “Channel Niners” had “Humphrey Bear” (“Wilbur Worm”), “Young Seven” had Sammy Seagull (and “Muffy”). Wilbur & Muffy were operated by someone below the hosting desk with their hand up a a bit of fabric/plastic. I won’t start on “Winky Dink” or “Fat Cat” or “Rock Wallaby.”

Oh dear, I’m really scaring myself now!

But have a really good look at the full-sized version of the picture of TV Guide above – you’ll probably find some of your own memories in there as well.

What were your favourite shows in 1976?