Friday, January 5, 2024

Lonahana Estate Chocolate - Hibiscus Dark Milk Chocolate (bar) - Jan. 4, 2024

Chocolate of the Day

Lonohana Estate Chocolate
Hibiscus Dark Milk Chocolate (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 178 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $ (Part of 4-bar $45.00 Island Flavors bundle)
Purchased from: Lonohana website, online order

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Hawaii Theme Week.

Today's Hibiscus Dark Milk Chocolate (bar) was made by Lonohana Estate Chocolate, LLC (Honolulu, HI) from Hawaii-grown cacao and hibiscus.

Aroma notes included: dark milk chocolate and very light red fruit and floral (hibiscus).

This sweet, well-tempered 50% dark milk bar broke with a hard snap in a cool room. (Tempering can be harder to do with milk chocolate, so hats off to the maker); and it had a very creamy texture.

Flavor notes included: subtle, tart sweet hibiscus floral. The milk muted the hibiscus flavor a bit, but it was a pleasing addition and the soft tartness helped balance the sugar.

Lonohana founder, chocolate maker and farmer, Seneca Klassen, has continued to grow and source Hawaiian cacao and to bring both single Hawaii origin chocolate (and chocolate with Hawaiian flavors) to chocolate lovers around the globe. Today's bar was an homage to Hawaii-grown cacao and beautifully showy hibiscus* flowers.

Ingredients: "Hawaii-grown cacao, organic cane sugar, organic whole milk powder, organic cocoa butter and dried organic Hawaii-grown hibiscus flower"

Allergen-related information: Contains milk. "Produced in a peanut-free environment on equipment that also processes milk and tree nuts."

*The Hawaii-grown cacao and hibiscus in this dark milk chocolate are both part of the mallow (Malvaceae) plant family. 

Origins: The hibiscus (Hawaii's State Flower) may have spread from Asia to Pacific islands via birds, weather (wind) or ocean currents (flotsam), even before people arrived. Some were brought to Hawaii and elsewhere later by people. Five species of hibiscus are considered native to Hawaii. Cacao was from the Americas. Happily for those who enjoyed today's bar, both now reside in Hawaii.

Speaking of flowers: Both cacao and hibiscus have five-petaled flowers (see Lonohana logo for this bar). (Edible cacao flowers (aka Madre de Cacao) are tiny, ivory-to-pink colored blossoms that begat large fruits (cacao pods); and hibiscus flowers are large, showy and, in many cases, edible as well.) 

Some hibiscus sub-species and/or varieties are more edible than others: e.g. the Roselle hibiscus used in today's bar, is also used in drinks (agua de Jamaica/Jamaica agua fresca) and Hibiscus sabdariffa and Hibiscus acetosella are also used to make teas in the Caribbean and Latin America. (Some varieties are also enjoyed in salads.) 

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