Hakalau Chocolate is as pure as it gets! We discovered a delicious way to make bold, dark chocolate without processed sugar - we just use two ingredients - our cacao, and local honey. That's it - no added cocoa butter, no lecithin, no refined sugar!
Our cacao trees grow intermingled with other fruit trees throughout the farm. We never use herbicides or commercial fertilizers on them, only nutrient-dense compost made on the farm and mulch from surrounding support trees.
Every step of Hakalau Chocolate-making is done by hand, in small batches. We pick the pods when ripe (or buy them from nearby organic farmers who do the same), and then ferment, dry, crack, roast, and conch in our stone grinder. The only ingredient that goes in the grinder is cacao nibs. Then when we make bars, we stir in local honey, and finally add other locally grown, delicious spices, nuts, and salts. Many of these (the hot chile peppers, the cinnamon, some of the macadamia nuts) come from our own farm. You can't get any more pure and simple and - OMG this chocolate is so good!
Our honey comes from one of several natural beekeepers on the east side of Big Island. They do not use miticides, so there is no pesticide residue in the honey. They also (like us) are scrupulous about avoiding contact with plastics unless the plastic is BPA-free. Our farm has several hives and at times the honey in the bars is from right here on Kulike Farm. The bees forage in surrounding eucalyptus forests as well as all the fruit trees and flowers on the property (oranges, lemons, avocados, basil, bee balm etc.).
The coffee in our delicious coffee bars is the best on the island - not just our opinion, a widely held judgment! It is grown on an organic family farm on the slopes of Mauna Kea in the shade of indigenous Koa trees. Check out the video on their website Hawaiian Cloud Forest Coffee to see how they have restored depleted pastureland to a beautiful forest that provides natural fertilizer for the coffee as well as habitat for endangered native birds.
Our macadamia nuts are from local organic farms, including our own, that do not use any pesticides (they could harm bees!) or herbicides (often used on the ground to suppress weeds for ease of mac nut collection - we don't think this is right for either the pickers or the eaters!). We de-husk the nuts, dry them, crack them, then roast and salt lightly with Pure Kona Deep Sea Salt. This salt is mineral-rich, pumped from 2,200 feet to solar-evaporation beds on the west side of this splendid island.
This is the same salt we use in our Hawaiian hot chile pepper bars. The chiles are grown organically on our own farm, picked when red and ripe, dried with off-grid solar power, and ground fine... the mix is not homogenous, so every bite has a different bite!
The cinnamon is from our Ceylon cinnamon tree, grown in a food forest alongside bananas, avocados, ice cream bean, and fruiting vines. We cut a section of the trunk, peel and clean the bark, and simply grind it up to add to our melanger for the last few hours.
The beautiful package design is by artist Eve Furchgott, who lives right in Wailea, just next-door to Hakalau (one ahupua'a over). You can see some of her wonderful work here: https://www.blueheron1.com/
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