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Lei ChicCacaovore [kuh-koh-vohr]
Noun: Mammal with an insatiable need for products of the cacao bean.

The Cacaovore is most often found in drugstore snack aisles, communal workplace food areas, and on the banks of chocolate fountains around the world. The most common species, discountia cacaovore, feeds often but is never satisfied. It is easily tracked by its trails of bargain, mass-produced candy wrappers.

In contrast, the species most sought after for its discerning taste, qualitious cacaovore, only gathers for five hours, once a year at Dole Cannery Shops during the Hawaii Chocolate Festival.

Lei ChicThis palate-pleasing event provides the qualitious with a rare opportunity to hunt the freshest, most unique locally made chocolate in one spot. Experts have observed it pouncing on truffles by Choco le’a, melt-in-your-mouth bars from Waialua Estate and Malie Kai, exotic concoctions by Madre Chocolates, Manoa Chocolates, Maui’s Sweet Paradise Chocolates, and the Big Island’s Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory. The qualitious has been known to circle around for a second feeding on Hawaiian Cheesecake and flavored liquors such as Kona Brewing Company’s porter made from cacao nibs before feasting its eyes on chocolate orchids, chocolate pearls, and chocolate mint plants in the garden.

Lei ChicIf you encounter the voracious qualitious, it is best to soothe it live music (which is fortunately in abundance during the Festival) or by treating it to one of Heaven on Earth’s chocolate-inspired spa treatments offered on site.

After all, there’s nothing like chocolate to bring out the animal instincts.

The Hawaii Chocolate Festival is Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. at Dole Cannery Shops. Tickets are $20 pre-sale, $25 at the door and include samples from your choice of 10 vendors. Proceeds go to Halau O Na Pua Kukui. Click here to buy your tickets now or for more information about the second annual event.