PERFECT COMPANIONS: HONEY AND CACAO
What's better than Nutella? Raw Hawaiian honey that has been sun-infused with Hawaiian-grown cacao! It's a chocolate lover's answer to healthy snacks!
Native to the deep tropical regions of Central America, the Cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) is rapidly becoming a popular, new agricultural product on the Big Island of Hawaii, especially the east side in the rainforest of Puna and Hilo Districts. In recent years, an increasing number of organic farmers have been planting cacao trees and producing top quality 100% Hawaiian-estate cacao products made from the fruit of the cacao tree, The fruit consists of boldly colored red, orange, and yellow seed pods filled with large, fleshy cacao beans—the base ingredient in fine chocolate-making. When picked and separated from their seed pods, the beans are naturally fermented, dried at low temperatures, and shelled, leaving the raw cacao bean ready to use. The minimal processing of raw cacao beans and their shells enables the retention of a robust chocolate flavor with a slightly bitter aftertaste—similar to unsweetened dark chocolate.
Raw cacao is full of health benefits that contribute to its growing reputation as a superfood. Today, cacao beans are considered to be one of the most nutritious foods on the planet as these delicious chocolate-tasting delights are filled with minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium, fiber, and antioxidants called flavanols that support cardiovascular and brain health. The raw cacao bean can be eaten whole, broken up into smaller bits called cacao nibs, or ground into cacao powder and combined with other foods as a supplement.
[100% raw Hawaiian-grown cacao nibs sprinkled on top of the sun-infused honey]
Besides loving all things chocolate, my fascination with cacao began this summer while touring a cacao farm at the 110-acre Hawaiian Crown Plantation in Hilo. Soon thereafter, the idea for a new seasonal product came into being: 100% Hawaiian grown cacao-infused raw honey! Making these jars of chocolatey deliciousness became a labor of love as it takes many days (or weeks, if it rains!) of repeatedly flipping the honey jars in the sun to allow the honey, cacao shells (which are later filtered out), and cacao nibs to float in and spread their taste throughout the liquid honey. Each jar reflects the characteristic floral notes and sweetness of the honey varietal used. Hence, the cacao-infused Ohia Lehua honey carries a subtle, dark chocolate aftertaste, whereas the cacao-infused Tropical Wildflower honey bestows its bolder sweetness upon the crunchy chocolate-tasting cacao-nibs. Simply said: divine! Pualani Bee Farm is currently offering a limited quantity of these cacao-infused honey varietals via our online SHOP.