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
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.
Derek Lanter clearly remembers his first date with the “dark side.” In 2001 he was living in Berkeley, Calif., when Scharffen Berger, the company that reputedly makes America’s finest dark chocolate, was setting up its operation there. He and a friend decided to visit Scharffen Berger’s factory for a tour and tasting.
“Having worked with coffee as a buyer and roaster for Uncommon Grounds Coffee Co., I had experience processing coffee beans and evaluating the brew made from them, but that was the first time I saw cacao beans being roasted, ground and manufactured into chocolate,” Lanter recalled.
“Scharffen Berger was using beans from Colombia, Madagascar, Ecuador, Ghana and Indonesia. We learned about the equipment and process, and tasted chocolate at different stages and in different forms, from the roasted nib to pure cacao liquor; sweet milk chocolate; and semisweet, 62 percent; bittersweet, 70 percent; and extra-dark, 85 percent chocolate. It was such a mind-opening experience!”
Today, Lanter tastes chocolate nearly every day as the sales and marketing manager for Waialua Estate, a subsidiary of Dole Food Co. that grows 20 acres of cacao and 155 acres of coffee on Oahu’s North Shore. According to Lanter, chocolate made from locally grown cacao is being favorably compared with world-renowned brands such as Amano, Amedei, Guittard and Michel Cluizel.