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Chocolate Education

Cacao is for Lovers

Chocolate Education

The sweet and sexy history of chocolate, romance, and Valentine’s Day “Did you guys know that chocolate contains a property that triggers the release of endorphins? It gives one the feeling of being in love,” Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).  While truer words have been spoken, Depp’s wild-eyed portrayal…

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The History and Origin of Hawaiian Chocolate

Chocolate Education

In recent years, Hawaiian cacao and the rich, delicious chocolate it produces has been quietly stealing the specialty chocolate spotlight and captivating chocolate lovers worldwide.  As a fairly new player in the commercial chocolate marketplace, Hawaii-grown cacao offers everyone from self-proclaimed foodies to adventurous epicures and the cacao curious new and artisanal chocolate products to…

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On The Farm: A Look Inside Our Planting Process

Chocolate Education On The Farm

This summer, and into the fall, we have been busy planting new cacao trees. Here at Lydgate Farms the more chocolate we have, the more we can share with you – our growing Chocolate Ohana – so we get excited about planting! It all starts at the nursery. Here we sprout seedling cacao trees that we…

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On The Farm: Grafting Season

Chocolate Education On The Farm

In the summer months, especially in July and August, our cacao trees grow prodigiously. Warm nights help to get the sap and vascular fluids of our cacao trees flowing, and the trees reset from the last season and set fruit for a big fall harvest. Since we don’t harvest cacao in the month of August,…

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Chocolate Education: Chocolate, Then & Now Part 2

Chocolate Education

We pick up our story of chocolate in the 1800’s when it was famed as a health tonic beverage throughout Europe and beyond. Next, the creation of milk chocolate and the modern chocolate landscape. In the late 1800’s two entrepreneur industrialists, Milton ‘Snavely’ Hershey in the US, and John Cadbury in England had huge success with a new kind of chocolate,…

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Chocolate Education: Changing the Way We Think About Chocolate

Chocolate Education

Many Americans see chocolate as a kind of candy, unlike other specialty foods, like craft beer, fine wine and specialty coffee (agricultural products seen as having fine flavor) But, just as these products have both high and low quality offerings, chocolate too has a wide range of options, which include some that are really exceptional. One…

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Chocolate Education: Chocolate, Then & Now

Chocolate Education

The chocolate tree has a rich cultural history. As we head into the holiday season we wanted to share with you some of those stories that took chocolate from its humble jungle origins to the center stage of culinary culture. We hope you enjoy! Cacao originated in the Amazon region of South America and we…

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Chocolate Education: A Note on Taste

Chocolate Education

As many of you who have been on our tour have discovered, there is so much more to chocolate than candy bars. Along with numerous health benefits come a wide diversity of flavors. Fine chocolate can taste fruity or nutty, like flowers, spices, herbs and more. Chocolate tastes like a lot more than chocolate! Discovering…

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Chocolate Education: A Note on Taste Part 2

Chocolate Education

 Let’s talk about cacao fermentation and how this step can make or break good flavor. Poor quality fermentation=poor quality cacao. Different parts of the world seem to have different fermentation characteristics, and Hawaii is unique in that our ferments here seems to behave in a different way from anywhere else in the chocolate world. The…

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