Food La La: Going gourmet with Madre Chocolate

Jul. 15, 2011 | 3 Comments

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BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Did you know that chocolate and wine making are similar?

That’s what I learned — and lots more — when I visited Madre Chocolate!

The taste and texture of chocolate depends on the type of cacao bean used. The soil, water, and climate that the cacao trees are grown in can make a big difference — just like how the different types of grapes can affect wine.

Nat Bletter is one of the founders of Madre Chocolate. He has a PhD in Ethnobotany and studies different types of plants and their uses. A couple years ago, his colleague asked if he could assist in writing a chapter about chocolate making for a plant book she was working on. Nat then decided to put all his research and knowledge he learned about chocolate into action — and that is how Madre Chocolate was born!

Madre chocolate bars contains four main ingredients — cacao nibs, cocoa butter, sugar, and vanilla bean. Then, unique spices and fruits are included in their chocolate to make the different types of flavors. Their chocolate is vegan and soy-free — so it’s great for people who are health conscious.

Madre Chocolate has two different lines of chocolate — Kokoleka and Xocolatl — and a total of 8 flavors. The Kokoleka line is made from cacao beans grown on the Big Island and contains locally grown spices and fruits. Xocolatl line is made from cacao beans grown from Central America and uses traditional ingredients from the Aztec and Mayan culture — since they are the original inventors of chocolate. Currently, all of their bars are made with dark chocolate only but Nat says they will be releasing a milk chocolate flavor soon!

  • Anonymous

    There’s chocolate out there that *isn’t* vegan?
    And I thought soy was supposed to be good for you…???

    Anyway, I’m glad to see Hawaii’s emerging cacao production starting to bear fruit!!

  • Anonymous

    There’s chocolate out there that *isn’t* vegan?
    And I thought soy was supposed to be good for you…???

    Anyway, I’m glad to see Hawaii’s emerging cacao production starting to bear fruit!!

    • Lindsey Muraoka

      Some lower quality chocolates contain a lot of additives so it’s not as healthy. Also, if milk is added then it’s not vegan.

      I’m also glad that there is locally made chocolate in Hawaii!