Monday, February 7, 2011
Hawaiian Host is familiar to most folks who have either visited Hawaii or been lucky enough to be on the gift list of someone who has. Their confectionery product line emphasized locally grown items like macadamia nuts and Kona coffee.
Their Hawaiian Host MacNut Crunch is described as Chocolate covered macadamias & crisp rice. As you’ll see, the term “macadamias” is kind of loose, as they’re not whole nuts as in the dark chocolate covered version.
The pieces are in fluted cups, the base is one inch and the top is 1.25 inches.
It’s a mix of crisped rice and crushed macadamia nuts in milk chocolate. It’s a thick piece that has a good, solid bite to it. The crispy rice is the first texture I got from it, which was pleasant mostly because it offset the very sweet milk chocolate. The macadamia bits were tiny and provided a different sort of texture and that vague fresh tropical flavor, but not much else. I would have liked more macadamia playing around in there.
It’s certainly an unusual product and I enjoyed the fact that Hawaiian Host is providing all their popular candies in these single serving packages. This one might be more fun as a bar, Hawaiian Crunch Bar of sorts. None are quite to my taste as ideal iterations of macadamias and chocolate, but it’s still a good quality product at a fair price.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I reviewed the Hawaiian Host Dark Chocolate Macadamias last week, this week I have one of their more unique items, the Hawaiian Host Caramacs. They also come in a similar single serve package, which contains two pieces. This one has a bit more candy in it, .94 ounces which is more of a preferred portion size than the .74 ounce dark chocolate covered whole nuts.
The package is fun, it reminds me of so many touristy items in Hawaii. But then again, that’s what the sunsets look like there, so why not capitalize on something familiar? The golds and amber of the setting sun do theme well with the caramel theme of the candy.
The little pieces are about an inch and a half across and nearly an inch high in spots.
The milk chocolate smells sweet and has a good dairy component to it. The bite is soft and the chocolate is thick enough that it adheres well to the caramel/nut center. The caramel has an excellent chewy pull to it. It’s a medium sweetness that kind of gets more mellow and malty as the chew goes on. It’s not terribly salty and doesn’t have that butter note to it, just a chewy sugar sort of vibe. The bits of macadamia give it some good texture. It’s kind of like flavorless coconut.
They’re basically macadamia turtles, though turtles usually have whole or large nut pieces. I liked them quite a bit, though I wanted them to have more nuts and maybe be a little less sweet. But if a friend returned from Hawaii and plopped these down next to me while they showed me their photos on a laptop, it’d probably be the perfect accompaniment.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Hawaiian Host is one of the better known macadamia nut companies in Hawaii (the other would be Mauna Loa, which is now owned by Hershey’s). They make a variety of macadamia products, including the best iteration possible, the Hawaiian Host Dark Chocolate Whole Macadamias. Hawaiian Host even says that they invented the chocolate covered macadamia nut, though I’d say it was an inevitable thing like radio, skateboards and hot cocoa mix.
Macadamias were known as the premium nut when I was a kid. The most expensive, the most exotic and the most decadent. (And probably the most fattening.) I have to say that I never really cared that much for them. I’d treasure them when I’d have them, but I never went out of my way to request them or acquire them.
They come in a little, single serve package that holds two chocolate covered macadamias. It weighs only .74 ounces and at about a buck a package, that’s a bit on the expensive side, but it also keeps you from eating too many and there’s only 110 calories in the package.
The nuts are big and generously coated with dark chocolate. They’re about 1.25 inches around at the base. It smells like dark, rich hot chocolate.
The macadamias are fresh. They’re crunchy, crispy and have a light coconut and pine nut flavor to them. The chocolate is rich but a little chalky in flavor but not texture, it’s hard to describe, but it had a powdery note to it, like the difference between cocoa and chocolate. It’s not particular dark but also not overly sweet or sticky. It strikes the right note and ratio with the nuts.
They’re little bites of Hawaii. A fun little treat and a lovely gift to bring back to your dog sitter or coworkers.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.