Cat Chat: Making truffles

What’s better than chocolate-covered macadamia nuts?

To me, not much.

Then I heard that Hawaiian Host was unveiling a new, limited edition confection starting today.

The Macadamia Truffles is a labor of love — five years in the making — and truly a masterful creation by Joyce Gepitulan, product innovation technician. (What a job, right?) She figured out a way to blend creamy macadamia butter grounded from roasted macadamia nuts with dark chocolate — then insert that into the company’s famous milk chocolate.

We had to see this for ourselves.

So we got a special tour — the factory isn’t open to the public — of the 65,000-square-foot Hawaiian Host facility in Iwilei with Gepitulan and company president Keith Sakamoto.

We learned some interesting things along the way, too, like Hawaiian Host candies are shipped to 24 countries including India, that the company uses macadamia nuts grown on more than 300 independent farms in Hawaii (mostly on the Big Island), and that founder Mamoru Takitani started this business selling chocolate out of his station wagon.

Boy, has this company come a long way!

Here’s our behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and how it makes these tasty truffles:

Macadamia Truffles, $5.99 per box, available through Christmas at your favorite retailer