new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Sweet Ohana Candy Factory Chocolates

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sweet Ohana Candy Factory Chocolates

Sweet Ohana chocolates are simply fabulous.

While on the Big Island last February, we were wandering around Kona's farmers market when a large Hawaiian man sold my mother a hair-tye doohickey. In the middle of his excellent demonstration of the many uses of the doohickey, he mentioned his family ran a candy factory downtown, one that apparantly had won awards and was a paragon of tastiness. We went "yeah, yeah, okay" - we are not a big candy family, generally, and we figured the sales pitch was biased - but we wandered in anyway. And discovered two salient details about Sweet Ohana -

1. They give out free samples. Lots of them. Throw them at you.

2. This chocolate is REALLY GOOD.

Allow me to elaborate on "really good."

Since all the chocolate used is Big-Island local (and all the flavorings, insofar as I know, are too) the chocolate has an incrediblly intense, fragrant taste. You can smell this stuff from a few feet away, and the aromatic promise is borne out in the flavor - both the fruit and coffee flavors dropkick your tounge into a happy, happy oblivion. Needless to say, we immediately bought a big ol' box of truffles and some delicious saltwater taffy, and noshed on the stuff for the rest of the trip.

And then, this Valentines Day, my parents sent me the requisite chocolates at school - except they, in their infinite wisdom, ordered me a box of truffles from Sweet Ohana. They are very clever and attractive people, my parents.

But how's this stuff taste away from it's place of origin?

From left to right:

Pineapple, mango, coconut, espresso, and passion fruit.

Pineapple: An intense and tart pineapple taste - almost reminded me of drinking very sweet liquor.

Mango: Sweeter and less sharp then the pineapple, but still contained an amazingly concentrated hit of fruit flavor combined with chocolatey deliciousness.

Coconut: The coconut flakes on top and the coconut flakes in the filling make this fun to eat -at least if you're a texture snob like me.

Espresso - Yum. The espresso bean on top crunches delightfully, and the filling has chunks of espresso bean in it that produce a gritty, yummy interior (again, if you're not into crunchy...look elsewhere.)

Passion Fruit: Just as fruity and intense as the others, with a very smooth interior.

Verdict: Awesome chocolates that make full use of their tropical origin, made by extremely nice people. If you're ever in Kona, drop by the big pink building, scarf up some free samples, and buy a bunch of this stuff to take home, or maybe to share. Unlike me. (My mother asked, "So are you going to share with your friends?" over the phone, and the silence just...hung. No, mom. No.)

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