In 2013, my mother and I bought a farm on the Big Island of Hawai’i. We named it Pa’ani Farms, which in Hawai’ian means to play. Among coffee, avocado, and macadamia nut trees, came a modest-sized and neglected cacao orchard. Hawai’i is the only place in the United States with a climate suitable for growing cacao, making Kona chocolate one of the rarest types on Earth. My Belgian ancestry introduced me to the beauty of fine chocolate, one of the world’s most famous set of edibles and drinkables. Pa’ani Farms, in conjunction with two nearby farms, won a 2019 Gold Cacao of Excellence Award. I attended the Paris Salon du Chocolat to accept our award for the Asia, Pacific, & Australia Region. Cocoa is primarily produced by hand and its production has never experienced widespread mechanization. Despite this limitation, the volume of cocoa produced worldwide amounts to 4.8 million tons in 2021 and over 50 million people worldwide currently depend on chocolate for their livelihood. Cocoa is primarily produced by hand and its production has never experienced widespread mechanization.
KonaCao developed a patent pending process to diminish the nibs’ natural acidity and bitterness, which enhances the other flavors in our nibs. Our nibs can be eaten as a snack, added as surprisingly complex seasoning to recipes or as a final flourish by adding a crunchy finish to any dish. Step aside salt and pepper!
Cacao Nibs are gaining traction in both the functional food sector and gourmands aka foodies. Cacao or cocoa is not classified as a spice. In expanding its use into savory dishes, I pushed beyond trying to tame the most forward flavors to reach the nuanced flavor compounds and stumbled into a utility patent. I elected to try every method I could to optimize using cacao nibs and cocoa powder in wet, dry, and oily food environments, then I continually tested the results on many willing friends, neighbors, and family. US Patent law requires that an invention, in my case a process, must be new, useful, and non-obvious. Pa’ani Farms and KonaCao are proud to bring these Hawai’i grown, process, and 100% pure Kona products to a ready and waiting market.
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Discover a fascinating new culinary arsenal for chocolate lovers and learn why chocolate is not just dessert.
Inside Savor Your Chocolate, a groundbreaking cookbook, you’ll join international award-winning cacao farmer and culinary enthusiast Anne van Leynseele as she ushers in an enticing new world of chocolate in global cuisine.