Hawaiian Nougat Company

Photo by Jamie Noguchi

Don’t be fooled by its name—nougat is so much more than the processed, pull-out-your-teeth stuff you find atop a candy bar. For evidence, turn to Peter and Liz Anderson of the Hawaiian Nougat Company, a couple dedicated to making top-notch, locally-inspired nougat.

One bite into their vanilla nougat spotted with whole macadamia nuts, and everyone in our group exclaimed how light and smooth it was. I expected a sugary-sweet sensation, but the Andersons’ nougat delivered a flavor quite the opposite: delicate, with a balanced sweetness, akin to a handcrafted marshmallow, but with more chew.

Liz, the hands of the confectionery business, has a pastry background and received a diploma from École de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris. She concocts the French-inspired nougat with ingredients such as Maui sugar and vanilla, mac nuts from Hilo, lehua honey, local egg whites and Big Island’s Original Hawaiian Chocolate. For now, their only flavors are vanilla and vanilla dipped in chocolate. But Liz promises that she will begin incorporating other local products into the nougat—dried fruit, Kona coffee and cacao nibs. Also, a chocolate flavored nougat will hit the shelves later this month.

In August, the couple plans to offer chocolate molding classes several times a week at their Waialae factory. Currently, Hawaiian Nougat Company is sold at its production facility, Whole Foods, Hilo Hattie and Four Seasons Hualalai, with Foodland on the way.

$15.99 for a four-ounce bag
Hawaiian Nougat Company, 3613 Waialae Ave., 926-4885, hawaiiannougat.com