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Big Island chocolatier on a mission to transform nourishing cacao into chocolate

Courtesy Raven Hanna

Did you know that Hawaiʻi is the only state where cacao can be farmed? In fact, Hakalau on the Hāmākua coast has been called the “Napa Valley for chocolate” due to the number of cacao farms and chocolate makers.

The Conversation caught up with science writer and science artist Raven Hanna, whose newly published guide “One Cacao Tree” is aimed at hobbyists who would like to make chocolate from homegrown cacao pods or bought at the farmers market.

“One Cacao Tree, a guide to backyard cocoa, tiny fermentations, and chocolate making in the tropics” is available online. Hanna will have a booth at the East Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners Plant Sale in Hilo on Sunday, Jan. 29.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Jan. 11, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at ltsang@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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