Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Malie Kai: Waialua Estate Chocolate

Malie Kai ChocolateMalie Kai introduced their single origin American chocolate a couple of years ago, which uses only beans from the Waialua Estate on the north shore of Oahu.

The orchard where the cacao grows was planted in 1997 years ago by Dole, who wanted to diversify their agriculture in the area. However, around 2000 they abandoned the orchards, which became overrun with weeds (but the cacao & coffee trees were still there) and of course weren’t irrigated or fertilized. Later in 2004 the orchards were restored and only in the past three years have the fruits of their labor become available to the public. In this case the bar is by Malie Kai.

The farm has only about 17-20 acres devoted to cacao (about 650 trees per acre) so don’t expect huge quantities of these to flood the market. The trees are mixed varieties of Trinitario and Forestero. They’re grown pesticide free (though not certified organic as I believe they use non-organic fertilizers).

One of their bars is the Single Origin Waialua Estate bar featuring 55% cacao. It’s a petite bar at only 1.5 ounces, but a good size to give me a bit of the flavor and profile of this national chocolate. 

Malie Kai Chocolate

The bar comes in a smart little box, that protects it well. Inside it’s in an airtight mylar pouch to further enhance freshness.

It has a pleasant fruity-raisin chocolate aroma. The melt is nice, but is very sweet, almost overwhelming the more delicate flavors at first. After it settles in on the tongue and melts I was able to tease notes like molasses, toffee and raisins.

The texture is smooth, with only the slightest sugary grain to it. There’s no trace of bitterness and though there’s a light finish, it’s not at all acidic or dry.

I found it too sweet to satisfy my desire for rich dark chocolate, but the texture and size is great. I don’t see myself buying it again just for the taste, but I think it’s an interesting demonstration piece. I’m interested to try some of their other bars, especially the milk chocolate. (I tasted it on the floor at the Fancy Food Show ... but I tasted a lot of things that day.)

The bars are available in Hawaii quite readily. On the mainland

In the States

you’ll have to look sharp at upscale chocolate shops or order from a Hawaiian specialty shop. The bar also comes in a 38% Milk Chocolate version. (It’s not common to see single origin milk chocolate.)

Malie Kai also makes a line of flavored & inclusion bars: Kona Coffee & Roasted Almonds (dark &  milk), Kona Coffee Cappuccino (milk), Kona Coffee Espresso (dark), Lemon Macadamia Nut (dark) and Orange Macadamia Nut (milk).

Guittard is also making a 70% cacao content chocolate from the same Waialua Estate beans.

Related Candies

  1. Amano Single Origin Bars: Madagascar & Ocumare
  2. Big Island Chocolates
  3. Michel Cluizel Les 1ers Crus de Plantation
  4. E. Guittard Single Origin Tasting Kit
  5. Single Origin Chocolate
Name: Single Origin Waialua Estate 55% Cacao
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Malie Kai
Place Purchased: sample from Fancy Food Show
Price: unknown
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 143
Categories: Chocolate, United States, All Natural, Single Origin

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:37 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. cool. that sounds great!

    Comment by Alyssa on 4/22/08 at 10:39 am #
  2. You wrote: “In the States you’ll have to look sharp”.  You meant “the mainland”, right?  Hawaii is still our 50th state.

    Comment by Amy on 4/22/08 at 10:49 am #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Amy - ack! Sorry about that. Yes, I deleted some stuff about Japan ... so now that should read mainland.

    Comment by Cybele on 4/22/08 at 10:53 am #
  4. I just spotted these bars in our Raley’s market and had to try the Dark. Wow…just wow. They are so far beyond the Hersheys Dark! The flavor is really deep and warm.

    Comment by joan on 5/11/08 at 10:37 am #

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