Kokoleka: Chocolate with Aloha

Mahalo to Chef Ronnie and Pastry Chef Shay for participating in the first Annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival.

From http://www.hawaiian-skies.com Blog:

As if beautiful beaches, scenic mountains and lush rainforests weren’t enough, Hawai‘i also offers the world the sweet pleasure of chocolate. With thousands of acres of farmland and the perfect growing weather, this delicious treat is a natural for the Islands.

Hawai‘i is the only place in America that grows cacao, the raw material for chocolate. You can experience the end result in a growing number of specialty chocolates. They make a great souvenir -- and a sweet indulgence.

You can learn more about some of the great places profiled in this story at SweetParadiseChocolate.com, HiloSharksCoffeeShop.webs.com, WaialuaEstate.com, MalieKai.com and KonaNaturalSoap.com.

This story was produced by Take 2 Production.  Visit them at take2-production.com.

Top 10 Banana Songs to Enjoy While Eating Our First Home Grown Banana's - Harvest Time!

We have been watering and watching our apple banana bunch for months now. Just waiting for a hint of yellow to start on them. On Wednesday we finally spotted the top row turning yellow! It was a busy week so we waited till the weekend to harvest. 

 They taste great.  The 4" fruits are sweet yet have a slight tartness. Manzano is the Spanish name for "Apple". The taste has also been compared to a cross between an apple and a very sweet banana.

 Top 10 Banana Songs

   1. Day-O (Banana Boat) - Harry Belafonte  

   2. Banana Co - Radiohead  

   3. Bananas And Blow - Ween  

   4. 30,000 Pounds Of Bananas - Harry Chapin  

   5. Fried Bananas - Cal Tjader  

   6. Banana Pancakes - Jack Johnson  

   7. Banana In Your Fruit Basket - Bo Carter  

   8. Banana Split (The Tra La La Song) - The Dickies  

   9. Smokin' Banana Peels - The Dead Milkmen  

   10. Yes! We Have No Bananas - Spike Jones   

 from Robert of the Radish in The Y! Music Playlist Blog

More info on the Apple Bananas:

Apple bananas are available year round.

  • Description/Taste
    A favorite dessert banana and truly irresistible, apple bananas turn completely black when ripe. Pale yellow and quite stocky, the average length is about four inches. The creamy semi-dry flesh resists turning brown when peeled making it a perfect choice for fresh fruit desserts. Prized for its unique flavor, this remarkable banana's deliciousness combines tasty hints of apple and strawberry.
  • Nutritional Value
    An excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and potassium, the banana is low in fat, cholesterol-free, low in sodium and provides fiber. Some medications for controlling blood pressure deplete the body's storage of potassium. One banana each day restores the potassium balance. An average sized banana has about 95 calories. Five daily servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended to lower chances of cancer. A recent study found eating nine or ten daily servings of fruits and vegetables, combined with three servings of low-fat dairy products, effectively lowers blood pressure.
  • Applications
    Enjoy the apple banana out of hand or add this creamy-textured wonder to fresh fruit salads. Make yummy puddings, pies, muffins, cookies, cakes, custards and quick breads. Enjoy a frosty banana daiquiri. Pair with vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate fudge, sliced fresh strawberries and tangy pineapple bits for a dessert delight. Standing up well when cooked, this little banana is a perfect size for making delectable banana fritters. To delay ripening, refrigerate. Place in paper bag; keep at room temperature to speed ripening. To freeze for longer storage, mix one teaspoon of lemon juice into each mashed banana; freeze in an airtight container. Note: To prevent bananas from turning brown in fruit salad, drop a banana in boiling water for two to three seconds until it turns dark brownish-black; carefully lift out from water; peel. The banana will actually stay fresh.
  • Ethnic/Cultural Info
    The name banana comes from the Arabic word for finger, "banan", referring to the finger-like extensions of the fruit. A clump of bananas is called a "hand". This variety most closely resembles its namesake. As a popular Asian snack, bananas are battered, fried or baked in their skins over hot coals. Many parts of Southeast Asia enjoy the banana cooked with rice flour dough or glutinous rice and served with coconut cream. A favorite banana delight and sold as a confection, banana slices are sun-dried.
  • Geography/History
    Growing wild in Hawaii along the seriously rainy Hamakua Coast on the Big Island and especially loving gulches and ditches, the apple banana plant grows much taller than the common banana plant and requires more maintenance. The Hamakua Coast is located North of Hilo and with annual rainfall topping out over a whopping ten feet, it definitely earns the title of the rainiest city in the United States. Considered a premium banana and also known as manzano, islanders love growing the exceptional apple banana plant in their backyard. This banana takes about fifteen months from planting to harvest. A member of the Musa paradisiaca species and from the Musaceae family, new varieties of bananas are being developed and are now available in American markets. Smaller bananas are especially becoming increasingly popular and setting a new banana trend.

MAHALO to http://www.specialtyproduce.com/index.php?item=2050

Featured Recipes
Recipes that include Apple Bananas. One is easiest, three is harder.

Just Mommies BananaRama Baby Food Recipe
Mom's Diet Healthy Banana Smoothies
Gluten-Free Goddess Banana Apricot Hemp Milk Smoothie
Cooking with Amy Healthy Banana (or Guava) Bread
Farmgirl Fare Let Them Eat Mexican Monkey Cake!