Is there any more Hawaiian a souvenir than chocolate-covered macadamia nuts? Based on the shelves and shelves full of them at every corner store in Waikiki, they’re clearly a popular gift to bring back from the Hawaiian islands.
But are they, you know, any good?
In a word, yes. But I’ll qualify that by saying that nostalgia and sentiment may be clouding my judgment.
Of all the chocolate-covered macadamia nuts I’ve tried, my favourite is the dark chocolate variety made by Hawaiian Host. Each nut is coated in a generous quantity of decent dark chocolate (though this dark chocolate contains milk fat, according to the ingredients listing), of the sort that harkens back to the handfuls of chocolate chips I snacked on from the kitchen pantry as a kid.
The macadamia nut at the centre is as flavour-neutral as any macadamia nut. It tastes nutty, and it crunches when you bite into it – but it has a very light taste, and it doesn’t compete with the chocolate.
Are they the most amazing chocolates in the world? Only if you think Pot of Gold is the apex of the chocolate-making arts. But they’re pretty damned yummy, and I go through a pile of them whenever I’m in Hawaii.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: About $7 per 18-piece box (198 grams / 7 oz.).
Value for cash money: Not bad for a box of special chocolates.
Availability: Hawaii, naturally. But I’ve spotted Hawaiian Host products in places like Edmonton, too. Check London Drugs. Their website lists a smaller, 9-piece box of the same type of macadamia-nut chocolates.
Nutrition?: 250 calories per 4 pieces, with 160 of those calories coming from fat. There’s some fibre and protein, along with a dash of iron, but that’s not why you’re eating these.
The verdict: When in Hawaii, go for it. They’re an island classic.