Hawaii Makes Chocolate - and It's Delicious!


12619495493?profile=RESIZE_710xOriginal Hawaiian Chocolate Factory   

When you come to the Aloha State, go beyond the mai tais and and enjoy some divine, locally grown chocolate!

The Hawaiian islands are home a number of chocolate-making companies, and most are bean-to-bar businesses. Hawaii is the only U.S. state which grows cacao, then processes and makes it into bars and other cocoa products. I've done my share of eating chocolates on the different islands, and I find the chocolate confections not overly sweet and with a deep chocolate and satisfying taste.  In checking the labels, there are usually no additives like lecithin or a vanilla by-product. Hawaiian chocolate companies focus on supporting local farmers and using locally grown products such as honey, lavender, and salt to create unique varieties. The products give assurances about knowing the source and the working conditions of the farms. 


12619492486?profile=RESIZE_710xOriginal Hawaiian Chocolate Factory

When you’re on the Big Island, on the slopes of Hualalai Mountain near the town of Kona visit the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, a cacao farm and producer of fine artisanal chocolates founded by Pam and Bob Cooper in 1997. To witness how it's made, take a tour - on Wednesday and Friday mornings, for $25 per person ($10 for kids ages six to ten) - and see how the pods (above) are processed into beans and finally into many chocolate products. The company has won awards for their chocolate, and you´ll find it on meus in gourmet restaurants in Hawaii and beyond. A must is to browse in their shop and buy items from milk chocolate to high end dark chocolate. The packaging and bars have an "aloha spirit" with plumerias and colorful packaging making for great gifts and take-home remembrances of Hawaii.  


12619668085?profile=RESIZE_710xWith noted French pastry chef Stéphane Tréand and his Chocolate Showpiece

Hawaiian cacao farms like this have greatly increased in popularity in recent year, and the Kona Cacao Association promotes local farms as well as education and programs to support them ( check out its the website to learn more). It also is a sponsor of each late April´s Big Island Chocolate Festival, which deliciously raises funds for community non-profits (listed among event information on the festival´s website). 

No matter which island you visit, make sure to buy chocolate bars with packaging that states Made in Hawaii.  Then snap a piece of chocolate and taste the difference!


Disclaimer-I attended the Big Island Chocolate Festival courtesy of the Kona Cacoa Association.

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  • Aloha meets chocolate - what cool be more divine?

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