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Has anyone tried Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate? If so, what do you think?

Are they bean to bar?

Their website is vague about the beans they actually use. (Not a good sign.) For example, they say here. "As agricultural conditions vary from year to year and season to season, each year's product will contain a different percentage of Hawaiian grown cocoa beans. " What other beans are they using to supplement when the Hawaiian supplies are low? What island of HI are their Hawaiian beans grown on?

I'd appreciate more info from those who might know.

Tags: Hawaiian

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Any reviews of Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory? I'm currently tasting their Criollo Dark bar.

How about Malie Kai? They seem to be a fondeur. Can anyone confirm that?

How about Private Reserve? I'm not sure if they make bars or just chocolate sauce. They say their chocolate comes from beans grown on the North Shore of O'ahu.
Susie Norris sheds gives some information about Hawaiian chocolate in her blog post.
Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate started the modern Hawaii Chocolate industry. There are 100% Hawaii-grown chocolates sold by Dole from its Waialua, Oahu estate , Malie Kai which also uses Waialua beans, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Kona, Hawaii island to mention a few.
[Quote]Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate started the modern Hawaii Chocolate industry. [/Quote]

Are you sure about this? I wonder if the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory was one of the first, if not the first in Hawaii?

Malie Kai has marketed their bars well so it's easier to find.

IMO the Waialua Estate chocolate by Dole is the best Hawaiian I've tasted. But it's not marketed well, so it's hard to find info about it on the web. The Chocolate Bar database has the most info I could find and there are some discussions about it on the seventypercent forums too.
When I was attending the Hawaii Cacao 2005 conference organized by Pam Williams of Ecole Chocolat, one of the speakers (and it may even have been Skip) mentioned that they've been trying to grow cacao commercially in Hawaii since the 1850s without much success.

However, Skip is right that Hawaiian Vintage preceded Original Hawaiian by more than 2.5 years - as least as measured from the dates they started selling chocolate online (Vintage in Jan '99 and Original in Dec '01). By the same measure, Malie Kai didn't start until Dec 04.

You are right that the Waialua Estate is not marketed well. Despite having consumer products, Guittar is not a consumer products company - and it shows in their marketing.
i lived in hawaii for years and always shopped at the dole estate... when i discovered the chocolate there i never bought it anywhere else. i love the local flavour of it..... got my local coffee beans just down the road as well.

wonderful chocolate.... if you visit.... dont miss it !
Aloha Olorin,
Back in the mid 80s Jim Walsh left Chicago and settled in Hawaii. He wanted tostart a chocolate business and collected advanced cacao selections from Malaysia and Phillipines. These materails were planted in Keeau, east side of Hawaii island. He sort farmers who would grow and sell their beans to him. One of the farmers was a retired professor Dr. Clarence Hodges who had recently moved to Kona, west side of Hawaii island. I was on his farm when the hydralic ram dug the holes in the a'a lava field. Attached is a photo of him a year or so later. His health deteriorated, he returned to the mainland, died and his farm was purchased by Bob and Pam Cooper. They rehabilitated the orchard and built the 'Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory'. So they are not the original commercial farm but they are as the name implies the first chocolate factory in Hawaii.
Attachments:
Hi Skip,
So HVC doesn't own or grow any of their own chocolate anymore? I read on their site that they claim to have made a new distinct variety of cacao (Hawaiian).

From what I gather above, HVC was sold and is now Original Hawaiian? Is that where HVC gets some of their "Hawaiian" beans?
Malie Kai is made from Dole's Waialua Chocolate. They sell the 55% and Milk Chocolate, also flavored bars like Kona Coffe, Lemon Mac nut etc..
Dole grows and markets Waialua Estate 70%.( processed by Guittard) . They are packaged in a pack of 5 small bars and (unfortunately) have the Dole Logo on the box.To date it the best chocolate in Hawaii that is marketed, I've tasted some better that are not yet marketed.
I sell all the Hawaiian Chocolate in my store, except Vintage who is not really a player here anymore. There are also many small farms producing chocolate they sell locally but do not market outside Hawaii as they don't have the means to make or wrap the bars in a manner that would allow them to be widely distributed.
www.sweetparadisechocolate.com
I'm extremely skeptical about the claims that Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate make for the benefits of "intentional" chocolate.
Does anyone here know of a source for Hawaiian cacao beans? I have contacted several farms directly, and cannot get a return phone call. I dont need a lot - even 1-5lbs would be enough, as this is for a Dept of Agriculture project and not for production. If anyone can guide me in the right direction, it would be appreciated.
Thanks!
send me an email of who you contacted and I'll give you a few names.
I have them at my shop.
hawaiichocolate@gmail.com

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