A dark-chocolate debut
Waialua cacao, grown on former North Shore sugar cane land, has made the jump from bitter little beans to full-bodied chocolate candy.
Waialua Extra Dark Chocolate -- made of 70 percent cacao, an extra-rich blend -- is for sale at $5.95 for a cute little box of five 1.75-ounce bars.
A nice stocking stuffer, but you'll have to go to the Dole Plantation Gift Shop or order through www.dole-plantation.com.
The cacao was planted on about 20 acres of land in 1996, after the Waialua Sugar Mill closed. Over the years, Dole Food Co. experimented with various varieties of cacao and methods of fermenting and drying. The beans are roasted and turned into candy at the Guittard Chocolate Co. in San Francisco.
Dole Plantation, on Kamehameha Highway just outside Wahiawa, is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Call 621-8408.