The Chocolate Life

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We visited The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, where they claim to be the first in the state of Hawaii. They offer a cacao tree to hand poured bar operation; the only such operation in the US. A one pound bar of dark Criollo chocolate sells for $36.

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Comment by Rev. R. M. Peluso on April 1, 2012 at 5:03pm

I was in Hawaii in July 2011. Jim Walsh of Hawaiian Vintage was the first to reintroduce cacao growing since first world war. He's on to other projects now in Mexico and elsewhere.  On the Big Island, there are supposedly more than 30 small growers. There are no pure any kind of cacao in Hawaii; it all comes from elsewhere. The gracious host, Tom Sharkey's, whom I visited, uses criollo from Venezuela. He also grows "trinitarios" and "forastero." Madre and Original buy from him and others. Waialua is lovely by the way, and that's grown by Dole. The beans are shipped to Guittard in California, then he ships the bars back to Oahu. 

Comment by Mark J Sciscenti on February 13, 2012 at 12:24pm

Stan, I've actually heard otherwise, they are not the first Hawaiian chocolate company - in fact cacao has been grown on Hawaii for over 100 years. Hawaiian Vintage was there (with problems), but now Sharky's on the Hilo side grows and makes chocolate and several others on the big island. Waialua Estates plantation on Oahu's north shore, and Madre on Oahu makes chocolate - and there are growers on Kauai. As to the claims of pure Criollo, nope. Yes there is a good percentage of criollo but also trinitario and forastero is being grown.

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