We all love chocolates, in all kinds and flavours. They’re there to comfort you when you’re sad, to satisfy your sweet tooth, to show the one you love how much you miss them and to give you a pat on the back when you truly deserve it. No matter how much we love chocolate, we still take it for granted, MSN News reports. We uncover it and start eating it so fast that we don’t sit and indulge the magical taste.
1. White chocolate isn’t really chocolate. Being made of butter and milk, it does not contain any chocolate liquor and so Under Federal Standards of Identity, “white chocolate” is just a misnomer.
2. The reason why chocolate literally melts in your mouth, is because the melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body temperature.
3. Hawaii is the only US state that grows cacao beans to produce chocolate. Whereas American chocolate manufacturers use on average 1.5 billion pounds of milk, which is only exceeded by cheese and icecream.
4. Chocolate scientifically makes you happy. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a natural substance that is known to stimulate serotonin release (the happy hormone) acting as a natural anti-depressant.
5. Chocolate contains Theobromine, which suppresses coughing activity.
6. On average, a chocolate bar in the US contains eight insect pieces. “The Food Defect Action Levels”, a book published by the US Department of Health, lists unavoidable food defects allowed by FDA – like bug parts. That means that your chocolate may contain traces of nuts, and bugs. Continue reading
Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is native to Central and South America and has been cultivated since prehistoric times in Mexico. For cacao production to be profitable in Hawaii, high tonnage and superior quality are required. However, Hawaiian cacao plantings are variable in both quality and yield, and are not necessarily adapted to Hawaii’s growing conditions. The genotypes of these trees are unknown, and growers are not able to identify the types of cacao trees on their farms. Through the use of DNA marker techniques, we are now able to Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. of superior cultivars based on their parentages/pedigrees. By the use of simple sequence repeat DNA markers, many individual trees have been fingerprinted. The survey group was found to include Criollo, Trinitario, Forastero and their hybrid types, plus genetically unique trees. The large genetic variation among Hawaii’s cacao trees currently grown here suggests it may not be necessary to import additional cacao genotypes to supplement locally available germplasm. The existing variation allows us to select and produce superior genotypes specifically suited for a grower’s production environment.
IN YOUR FRIDGE / Farmers’ market managers, Pamela Boyer and Annie Suite have joined hands with local farmers to create Oahu Agri-Tours. There’s no fancy farmhouse or massive farm machinery; what you see is what you get. You’ll experience first-hand how farmers are committed to practicing clean, organic farming.
Poamoho Farms is one of the farms on tour, and guests learn how the fruit orchard uses natural pest management and fertilization methods. Tin Roof Ranch farmers Luann Casey and Gary Gunder butcher their chickens the day before selling them at the market.
Na Mea Kupono wetland taro farm practices old school taro farming methods that most locals don’t even know about. Here you can also watch a traditional poi-pounding demonstration.
At Mohala Farms you’ll see how simple and natural farming is still possible (and still exists). Continue reading
Hi! I am Madel, a Fulbright Scholar currently working with Dr. Skip Bittenbender on a research on cacao at the UH . Right now we’re listing the cacao growers, propagators, Chocolatiers/artisan with a hope that we can meet sometime to discuss on the cacao industry in Hawaii and aim to have a wonderful Hawaii Cacao industry in the future.
Will you care to email me your name, Farm/bussiness location, home address, email address. Please state the no. of cacao trees you have; the products you sell or produce.
Hope to hear from you ASAP. Mahalo and God bless you all!
A birthday. A great first date. Fitting back into your skinny jeans. When you take the cake you celebrate with the ultimate gooey brownie.
Another birthday. Being stood up. Getting so stuck in your skinny jeans that you have to call your least-catty friend to cut you free. When life serves you unjust desserts you drown those dark moments in cocoa and oreos.
And recently, it seems, life’s ups and downs have you constantly refilling your secret stash of chocolate. But your usual sweet imported standbys are getting a little stale.
As the only state that grows cacao, Hawaii is turning out local chocolates with unique finishes that could become your next favorite comfort food. We took on the difficult task of tasting some made from 100% Hawaiian-grown cacao to find the ones that really set the bar. Continue reading
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2011
H .C.R. NO. 300
STATE OF HAWAII
WHEREAS, cacao, derived from the theobroma cacao tree, is the dried and fermented seed from which chocolate is obtained, native to the central and western Amazon region and is widely distributed throughout the humid tropical regions with commercial production concentrated in Brazil, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia and Nigeria; and
WHEREAS, cacao was first introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1850; and
WHEREAS, Hawafi’s environment and climate position it as the only state in the United States that can commercially grow cacao and as the state which is in the closest proximity to both Asia and the continental United States and is ideally located to capture and prosper from the opportunities of a growing cacao market which currently generates $75 billion worldwide annually; and
Bob and Pam Cooper acquired more than 1,800 cacao trees in Holualoa over a decade ago and established the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory. They’ve been processing 100 percent Hawaii-grown cacao into chocolate products ever since. Bob also grows and sells cacao trees, encouraging others to grow this valuable crop. West Hawaii now has many cacao growers and several budding artisanal chocolate makers.
Cacao originated in the Amazon and Orinoco River basins of Ecuador and Brazil, and has been cultivated in Central and South America for thousands of years. Theobroma, the genus of the cacao tree, translates to “food of the gods” and the resulting chocolate was once reserved solely for the pleasure of Aztec kings.
Today, cacao growing and chocolate making is a global industry, but with more local growers and those making chocolate with locally grown ingredients, localvores can satisfy their chocolate urge with a reduced carbon footprint.
Cacao is a tropical rain forest tree and thrives in areas with temperatures above 50 degrees and about 60 inches of annual rainfall or good irrigation. It is especially well-suited to areas in Kona that get a cool afternoon cloud cover. You might consider adding a few cacao trees, if your growing conditions are suitable. Continue reading
Without even checking the actual stats, we’re 100 percent sure that about half of all the commodities available on the free market include chocolate. With such an amazing demand for the product, surely there must be a sophisticated system in place to ensure that the world never runs out of the stuff. Because if, say, the whole chocolate industry was based entirely on Third World back-breaking manual labor, slave wages and actual child slavery that would be reason enough for a worldwide panic.
Actually, the majority of the world’s cocoa supply comes from West Africa, where the plantations are often tended to by slave children, but there is such thing as fair trade cocoa beans, with guaranteed “No slave labor!” certificates and stuff. Problem solved, right? Nope. (And it’s a little depressing when taking slavery out of the equation doesn’t immediately fix something.) The fact of the matter is that, currently, cultivating cocoa beans just isn’t worth it to the average West African farmer.
Not only is tending to cocoa trees insanely time-consuming (it takes up to five years to grow a new crop), but everything has to be done by hand in often unbearable heat. And at the end of the day, the average cocoa farmer can expect to earn about 80 cents a day for his trouble. That satisfying feeling that his product is contributing to America’s obesity epidemic is just not enough anymore, so in fewer than 20 years, chocolate might become an expensive rarity, like caviar. When was the last time you had caviar? Continue reading
It was a chocolate lovers dream come true Saturday the at Dole Cannery.
Chocolate of all kinds were featured at the Hawaii Chocolate Festival.
From chocolate fountains and candy, to the more unusual chocolate lotion and even vodka.
The Hawaii Chocolate Festival had it all.
“We’re the only state in the United States growing chocolate so we kind wanted to showcase all things great here that we have chocolate,” said event coordinator Amy Hammond. “We’re hoping that Hawaii chocolate can become one of the most friendly ambassadors of aloha.”
Event organizers are hopeful that the growing cacao business in Hawaii will be a boost for the economy as well.
NEW ORLEANS – Could chocolate exacerbate acne after all?
Dermatologists have long dismissed the idea that diet is related to acne, despite some patients’ insistence that eating chocolate, for example, seems to worsen their skin disease. But a new study has demonstrated that the consumption of pure chocolate does, in fact, exacerbate acne in a dose-dependent fashion.
Previous studies have failed to show a link between acne and the ingestion of chocolate. But these negative studies were conducted with chocolate candy, which contains sugar, milk, and other adulterants, according to Samantha Block. What’s different about the new study is that it was performed with unadulterated chocolate made of 100% cacao, Ms. Block explained at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
She reported on 10 male subjects (aged 18-35 years) with one to four acne comedones and/or papules on the face, but no nodules, pustules, or cysts. The investigators sought subjects with this minimal degree of facial acne so that any changes during the study period would be easily detected. The participants were invited to eat up to 12 oz. of Ghirardelli unsweetened, 100%-cacao chocolate at a single sitting, or as close to it as they could come. They were instructed to consume their customary diet for the next week. They returned for facial acne lesion counts and photographs on days 4 and 7. None of the participants was on any prescription or OTC medication.
The mean total acneiform lesion count climbed from 2.7 at baseline to 13.4 on day 4 and to 18.2 on day 7.
“We saw a dose-dependent relationship. If you ate more chocolate, you developed more lesions, supporting the idea of a causal relationship,” Continue reading