Does cocoa grow in Hawaii? You bet!

A brief history of chocolate in Hawaii

You’ve probably enjoyed Hawaiian-made chocolate for much of your life. Those chocolate-covered macadamia nuts are a favorite for many! But up until recently, there were very few cacao trees growing on the Hawaiian Islands, and therefore any chocolate used in your favorite confections was imported in the form of couverture and made into custom creations by local chocolatiers.

(And if you don’t know the difference between cocoa and cacao, here’s the simple explanation – cacao is pure raw chocolate; cocoa is the heated form of cacao, e.g., cocoa powder.)

Author examines cocoa beans drying in the Hawaiian sun

The author examines cocoa beans drying in the Hawaiian sun

That all changed about a dozen years ago, when the Dole Corporation began growing cacao in significant quantity, partnering with Guittard Chocolate Company of San Francisco to make cocoa for their delicious chocolates in California.

Fast forward: There is now cocoa production on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii, and an increasing number of excellent chocolate makers are creating their own bean-to-bar masterpieces with Hawaiian-grown cocoa. This has really raised the bar for chocolate offerings in Hawaii.

A chance to taste Hawaiian chocolate at the source

If this has whet your appetite for some taste-tempting chocolate travel, please consider joining me, author of the award-winning series Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate, as I lead a small group, customized chocolate tour to the islands of Oahu and Hawaii in partnership with Go Ahead Tours during Valentine Week, 2018.

What could be sweeter?

  • You’ll visit several cocoa farms and learn about the challenges of growing cacao.
  • You’ll see how labor intensive it is to grow, harvest, and process cocoa.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to taste some of the finest chocolate in the world, and participate in a Sacred Cacao Ceremony arranged by a local expert.
  • And you’ll still have time to relax and enjoy the wonderful Hawaiian vibe!
The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, just outside of Kona on the big Island of Hawaii --- a stunning location where cacao is grown, processed, and made into delicious Hawaiian chocolate.

The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, just outside of Kona on the big Island of Hawaii – a stunning location where cacao is grown, processed, and made into delicious Hawaiian chocolate (Credit: Doreen Pendgracs)

There is an early booking bonus on this tour until June 2, 2017, and everyone who takes advantage of the early booking offer will be entered into a draw for some of the finest chocolates of the world, donated by a few of the author’s favorite chocolate companies.


What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?

  • Discovering how cocoa is grown and made into luxurious chocolate.
  • Enjoying Hawaii, the ultimate destination for a Valentine Week of chocolate discovery – perfect for romantics, nature lovers and chocolate lovers!

Take note

  • Visiting a cocoa farm means you may have to walk on uneven surfaces for a bit. Nothing strenuous, but be sure to bring trekking poles or some form of support and comfortable walking shoes.

IF YOU GO


Be sure to get the whole scoop on Doreen’s chocolate tour in Hawaii on Chocolateur.

Come Chocolatouring With Me                                                   

Disclosure:
The author’s passage on this journey will be supported by Go Ahead Tours and tour participants.


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Hawaiian chocolate