June 5, 2005
I recently noticed this chocolate at chocosphere.com: http://chocosphere.com/Html/Pr.....state.html
Dole® Waialua Estate™ Cacao, a rare, pure Hawaiian cacao, is grown in the rich volcanic soil of Waialua, Hawaii, a historic sugar plantation town on Oahu’s famous North Shore. The cacao is rare because this Hawaiian plantation is one of the only commercial cacao estates in the United States, and the cacao trees are a unique because they thrive in a sub-tropical climate zone on the outer edge of the usual tropical latitudes.
Waialua Estate selected Guittard Chocolate Company to artisanally craft this rare chocolate made with pure Waialua Estate grown Hawaiian cacao. The cacao trees are lovingly nutured, free of pesticdes, in the rich Hawaiin volcanic soil of Waialua on O'ahu's famous North Shore.
This 70% cacao chocolate yields a rich, velvety smooth, dark chocolate with deep cocoa flavors and hints of berry overtones.
Does anyone know anything about Hawaiin chocolate?
I am excited to try this chocolate, although I wish that Guittard had made it at 65% to be more easily comparable to their other bars.
June 5, 2005
I sampled this chocolate last night.
The temper appears smooth and fine: better than Guittard's typical..
The smell is of cacao, pineapple, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
The taste is characterized by a fruity acidic burst over some warm cocoa and cedar flavors. I note pineapple, raspberry, wine, and blackberry. Vanilla shows up midway through the length.
The texture is smooth and moist, with no graininess or dryness.
Overall, this is a good chocolate, but a bit one dimensional.
December 4, 2006
I have a lot of experience with Hawaiian chocolate. I use this for some specialty confections and know the orchard manager. The trees were planted about 12 years ago as part of Doles wish to try diversified agriculture. They also planted coffee. The orchard was neglected and abandoned for almost 10 years but recently revived. They produced about 1000 lbs per acre last year of their 18 acres. I have some land in Hawaii I am also growing cacao here but don't have enough yet to produce a bar on a commercial scale.. There are many small farms on the Big Island but most people do not know what to do with the cacao. They sell pods in the market or try some fermentation and grind up some for raw chocolate.I can arrange tours if anyone comes here.
They do have plans to increase the cacao content and overall it will get more sophisticated. I think Guittard did a good job but maybe overdid the vanilla. The milk chocolate they make has a rich caramel, raisin taste, they need to improve the dark so the complexity can come out. The orchard is a hybrid mix of trinitario, criollo and forastero which they do not attempt to segregate.
We have a chocolate festival in Kona March 29th that is fun. The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory grows and produces bars there- but again the cacao content is only 55%, too much sugar and the bars are too thick so they don't have a great temper and snap.
June 5, 2005
I ordered a kg of this from chocosphere a while back, and I am finding this format more suitable than the small thin squares. The small thin squares were too small to fully appreciate the flavor. This kg is composed of thick 25 gram squares. 25 grams at once is too much as the acidity becomes too great, so I gnaw off about 10 grams at a time.
I disagree with those who suggest that there exists a proper tasting technique. It is best to vary all aspects of one's tasting including temperature, bite size, and rate of chew. Any variation will result in a different profile with different notes which helps one gain a full understanding of the chocolate. After an understanding of the chocolate is gained, one should taste so as to maximize pleasure, and technique should consider not only the specific chocolate but also ones present mood.
I really enjoy this chocolate. The flavors are pleasant and the texture creamy, perhaps a bit heavy on the butter but it works here. Reminds me of the week I spent in Maui. I am sensing some very nice floral notes that I missed on my earlier tasting.
I made a hot chocolate using this, but I found it unsuitable for that purpose. It is hard to beat Lindt 70% in that regard.
July 5, 2006
Did you guys try just the dark chocolate or the milk chocolat as well. I think the milk chocolate from hawaii is the real treasure. The sharp/sour type of notes from the hawaiian cacao really shine through in a good way in the milk chocolate. It is my favorite milk chocolate for that reason. Try it if you get a chance...