Considered the north pole of the world where cacao can grow, the only non-continental American State of Hawaii is made up of eight islands (Hawai’i, Maui, O’ahu, Kaua’i, Moloka’i, Lāna’i, Ni’ihau, Kaho’olawe). Of them, only the first four are the most densely populated and managed to build an economy and reputation around cacao and chocolate.
Despite being only 15% the extension of the largest Hawai’i, O’ahu is the Hawaiian island counting the most inhabitants (nearly one million) of all the other top three combined. A favorable condition where a few prominent chocolate companies popped up over the years and are thriving well despite the local competition, attracting the most tourists each year. The largest—and, probably, even the most ambitious of all—is Mānoa Chocolate. The Kailua-based company has broadcast a terrific online presence in the last two years, thanks to its educational video channel “Craft Chocolate TV.”
From recognizing the most flavorful and viable cacao beans deserving the complex chocolate making process to giving out insights on packaging and administration, very few brands out there disclose and showcase with such a level of passion and wisdom what to know about the business and appreciation of chocolate. Authenticity is all proven in their chocolate.
This Hawaii 70% is one of the deepest but also most elegant threads of fudgy, green, and slightly “parmesan” notes tasted, ending with a delicate floral hint. No room to bitterness or astringency.
For providing fulfillment even to the consummate fine/craft chocolate lover, this chocolate touched my soul. It reminds us of the primary reason why high-quality and well-made chocolate deserves to be known and celebrated above everyday chocolate: emotions.