What if I told you that once a year, you could try fresh Hawaiian fruit – that’s completely covered in chocolate!?

It’s a dream come true for cacao lovers who spend the day sampling chocolate-dipped pineapples and apple bananas at the annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival. More than 30 chocolate vendors show up and show off their skills, whipping up products made exclusively with homegrown cacao beans.

Whipping up a chocolate creation at the Haleiwa Farmers Market.

And it’s more than just the usual box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts; there’ll be a variety of tasty treats to try – from double-chocolate cheesecakes to chocolate liqueur. I’m most interested in finding out what the chocolate bacon’s all about. It really doesn’t get more out-of-the-box than this!

You can count on Manoa Chocolate Factory being at the festival. They’re known for their goat milk, ginger and chili concoctions. And those spunky chocolatiers we met in Haleiwa will be there, too. Nat Bletter and David Elliot, both co-founders of Madre Chocolate, are leading experts in Hawaii’s chocolate industry.

This sweet-n-savory shindig takes place at Honolulu’s Dole Cannery Shops, which could definitely use the extra business. The former pineapple factory has but a few stores and even fewer customers meandering through by the day. Hopefully a chocolate festival like this will help to spotlight this historic site and draw more people to this giant pineapple in the city.

This will truly be a celebration of all things chocolate!

HAWAII CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL • Every February, dubbed “Cacao Month” in Hawaii • www.hawaiichocolatefestival.com

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