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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Roasted Cacao Nibs by Original Hawaiian Chocolate Recommended by Whom You Know

In today's society, chocolate is one of the most accessible foods in the world! Everywhere you look, there is some kind of chocolate - whether it's a candy bar at the supermarket, a hot chocolate at a cafe, or delectable, homemade brownies. However, very rarely do we actually get to taste pure, unadulterated cacao. Before the sugar, cocoa butter, and other ingredients get added to make chocolate the way we're used to it, the process starts with the cacao tree, on which cacao beans are grown. At Original Hawaiian Chocolate, these cacao beans are all hand-picked from the cacao trees growing in the rich, volcanic Hawaiian soil. They're then roasted, shelled, and broken into bits, and then turned into many different variations! However, Original Hawaiian Chocolate also packages up some of these cacao nibs before they're mixed with anything else, allowing us to truly experience what pure cacao tastes like. The nibs are crunchy and quite bitter, with just a hint of the "chocolate" flavor that most of us are used to! But it's there, waiting to be coaxed out! The nibs are very high in antioxidants, making them a fairly healthy snack, or a healthful addition to other recipes! The Original Hawaiian Chocolate webite actually has a number of great recipes which incorporate the cacao nibs, if you're looking for some inspiration! But whether you enjoy them solo or add them into another dish, these roasted cacao nibs are an interesting and tasty little treat!

Original Hawaii Chocolate Roasted Cacao Nibs are one of the best products out there! I love to use this to sprinkle it on my drinks, foods, deserts etc... I love that its all ready to use. I don't have to worry about shredding any chocolate. Oh and not to mention how delicious the chocolate is! Wooha! Where to start with that. Give it a try and trust me you will use it all up in one shot! 

The roasted cacao nibs by Original Hawaii chocolate is one of those rare delicacies that you must have. I love experimenting in the kitchen and I find this ingredient a must! The Nibs are on the bitter side and you can really taste the cacao. I can really see myself using these in cooking instead of something to snack on. I also love that they are rich in antioxidants. I don't have to feel guilty about eating them! 

I had never tried roasted cacao nibs before and was very excited to try ones from Original Hawaiian Chocolate. These are the perfect addition to some of my favorite snacks! They taste great in cookies and smoothies! You can even sprinkle them on top of a salad or anything that could use the essence of chocolate added to it. The nibs go through quite a process to ensure their excellence. I can't wait to try them in more of my favorite foods and drinks!


KEAUHOU-KONA, BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII - The slogan “made from scratch” rings true for The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, which marked its 10th anniversary in 2010. The Made in USA Certified company produces Hawaii’s premier chocolate, a 100% locally grown-and- made product that has won numerous awards and accolades, including a top rating from UK chocolate reviewer, Lee McCoy.

Founded, owned and operated by Raleigh, North Carolina natives Bob and Pam Cooper, The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory creates three kinds of single-origin chocolate exclusively from 100 percent Hawaiian cacao. Their latest variety, criollo, is a rare chocolate, says owner/operator Bob Cooper. “Only 15 percent of the world’s chocolate is made from this type of bean. The criollo has a unique, earthy and complex flavor.”

The Coopers grow their cacao on the leeward slope of Mt. Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii, as well as purchase cacao from local artisan cacao growers. Small tours and tastings are conducted at their chocolate factory and plantation. During farm tours, Bob Cooper tells visitors a combination of factors give their chocolate its unique flavor: soil, environment, tree variety and the Cooper’s meticulous care in small-batch processing. Their “tree to bar” operation is the only one of its kind in the country. 

In hindsight, it was fate that brought the couple into the chocolate business. Moving to Hawaii in 1997, they bought a farm with coffee, macadamia nut and cacao trees. Bob decided he could make something special right in his own back yard, American-grown chocolate. “Out of principal, we made the decision to both grow and process the chocolate right here to keep it locally made in the 50th state,” shares Cooper. “Cacao only grows 15 to 20 degrees north or south of the equator so Hawaii is the place for growing in the USA.”

Although Cooper admits he had no previous farming experience, there were pods to pick and so he harvested the cacao. Determined to keep it "made-in-Hawaii", Cooper had his cacao tested by a world-renowned chocolate institute. Favorable findings reported the cacao as “prominent and forthright in flavor.” Encouraged by this, plus supported by a loan from the state’s Department of Business and Economic Development, Cooper had processing equipment set up for a micro processing facility. The first batch of grown and made-in-the-USA chocolate was produced in September, 2000.

The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory is a member of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Seal of Quality program, which identifies the state’s premium, “cream of the crop” agricultural producers. Being the first to grow, hand-pick, sun-dry and process only Hawaiian grown-cacao has earned The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory national acclaim. The Kona company’s chocolate has appeared in the New York Post, the LA Times and on the Food Network, National Public Radio, America’s Heartland and Seattle P-I. 

Original Hawaiian Chocolate is used by chefs in Hawaii and across the nation, including Peter Merriman, owner and chef of Merriman's Restaurants, Chef Ron Miller, owner and chef of Hukilau Restaurant, Roy Yamaguchi, owner and chef of Roy’s Restaurants, and Kathy Smoot-Barrett, chef and owner of Kailua Candy Company. 

The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory offers its delicious milk, dark and criollo chocolate in bars and attractive, flower-shaped Plumeria pieces. For the true chocolate connoisseur, the factory also has roasted cacao nibs, which are the essence of pure chocolate. Plantation tours are Wednesday and Friday mornings. For more information, call The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory at 808-322-2626, toll free 1-888-447-2626. Original Hawaiian Chocolate is available at numerous retailers in Hawaii and on the mainland, and online at:

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