Like coffee beans, the only place cacao beans, the main ingredient for making chocolate, are only grown commercially in the the United States is in Hawaii. Here on Maui, we have our own cacao farms. Not all of the chocolate made on Maui uses our local beans, but some do. Those are noted below, with a special shout out to Hana Gold. We highly recommend their plantation tour if you have time on a trip to Hana. Here, then, are our five favorite chocolates made on Maui.
The Hana Gold chocolate bars are made using organic cacao grown and hand-picked on their Hana plantation. Not only is the cacao grown on Maui, but 100% of the ingredients used are cultivated on Maui. The bars themselves are even poured and molded in Hana. Hana Gold offers plantation tours Monday – Saturday at 2:00. Beyond the plantation, Hana Gold chocolate bars can be found at Mana Foods, Down to Earth, Maui Ocean Center and other specialty shops. (Hana Gold)
Hawaii Fudge Company
With locations on Front Street in Lahaina and on South Kihei Road, the award-winning Hawaii Fudge Company, makes it convenient for you to try their various candies. Beyond fudge, they also make toffee, caramels and taffy. Our favorite is the salted caramels, but everything we’ve tried has been good. Hawaii Fudge Company also offers daily classes in their Kihei shop where you’ll take home a pound of fudge that you make. (Hawaii Fudge Company)
Maui Specialty Chocolates
Maui Specialty Chocolates is one of Maui’s best kept secrets. These dark and milk chocolates, made by the owner of the company, are rich and smooth and come in many varieties. Our favorites are mint truffles and the crunchy peanut butter cups. Beyond chocolate, they also make delicious peanut butter and chocolate mochi that melt in your mouth. The only place to purchase Maui Specialty Chocolates is from their little outlet in Kahului, about 5 minutes from the airport, making it a great place to pick up gifts for your flight off the island. (Maui Specialty Chocolates)
Sweet Paradise Chocolatier
Making chocolate with locally grown ingredients, Sweet Paradise Chocolatier has been on Maui since 2007. Perfect for gifts, their hand-crafted truffles and patterned chocolates are absolutely beautiful and taste great, too. Each piece is like a little piece of art. But you’d be a fool to not eat them, after taking an Instagram photo, natch. The lava sea salt caramels are also heavenly. At their Wailea shop, they also sell chocolates from other Hawaiian-based chocolatiers, so it’s definitely worth a visit.(Sweet Paradise Chocolatier)
Wow Wee At just $2.50 a bar, decidedly less expensive than the other chocolates on this list, Wow Wee calls its chocolate bars “Maui’s Candy Bar.” Wow Wee makes bars in a variety of local flavors, using local ingredients like macadamia nuts, coconut, Maui potato chips, Kona coffee, Maui rum and Hawaiian sea salt. Our favorite bar is the Dark Chocolate with Hawaiian sea salt and caramel. Wow Wee chocolate bars are available at Long’s Drugs and other local retailers. (Wow Wee)
Do you have a favorite chocolate made on Maui? Leave a comment below or tell us on Twitter @HIOceanProject and Facebook @hawaiioceanproject or send us a picture on Instagram @hawaiioceanproject.