Advocates Work To Make Hawai'i A Napa Valley For Craft Chocolate

May 01, 2018

Tamara and Dylan Butterbaugh think big. And that’s a good thing, because as owners of Manoa Chocolate, the husband-and-wife team is determined to do no less than put Hawaii chocolate on the map.

The Butterbaughs are part of a new breed of cacao and chocolate experts who are building an entire industry around American craft chocolate, a style of fine chocolate that emphasizes the essential flavor of the cacao bean and a single-origin style of dark chocolate.

Recipes are stripped down to bare essentials. At Manoa Chocolate, Dylan mixes cacao with a flavor- neutral cane sugar that enhances inherent flavor. Sometimes, he adds cocoa butter. Unlike traditional fine European chocolates that are all about creaminess, the spotlight in craft chocolate shines on the origin of the bean.