Since a complimentary box of Hawaiian chocolates are a part of our Maui vacation fall packages this year, we couldn’t help but share a sweet peek at our region’s connection to cacao. It starts back in the 1850s. According to the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center’s investigations, that’s when islanders started actively planting cacao.
At the time, the man responsible for bringing the first seeds to the region was William Hillebrand. He was a German born botanist and physician that lived in the 1800s. He relocated to Honolulu in the winter of 1850 for health reasons. While there, he procured land that was eventually converted into the Foster Botanical Garden. If you would like to learn more about him, you may want to pick up Ursula H. Meier’s book, Hawaii’s Pioneer Botanist: Dr. William Hillebrand, His Life & Letters or check out his published memoirs through the National Academy of Sciences.
It wasn’t until later years that additional cacao seeds were brought to the Hawaiian Islands by others, thereby increasing crop diversity and commercial production. Today, there are several cacao farms and chocolatiers spread out all across our region. On Maui, some of the best chocolate hot spots are Sweet Paradise Chocolatier and Manawai Estate Chocolate.
The estate staff offers long, informative, wonderful tours and chocolate tasting events year round. Plus, there is a great Hawaiian chocolate museum on site aptly called, Food of the Gods. It’s located roughly 1-hour away from our Maui condos along the famed road to Hana. So you may want to make a cacao farm tour and onsite tasting sessions part of your Maui vacation plans too. Our Ka’anapali Beach condos’ knowledgeable staff can help make the necessary arrangements.
To learn more about our Hawaiian chocolate infused packages and experience all the sweetness a Maui vacation has to offer first hand, please contact us today.