One of my favorite things about Hawaii is the prevalence of macadamia nuts in so many food items. They’re in pancakes, cookies and breads, crusted onto perfectly cooked fish, and dipped in chocolate and packed into boxes for tourists to take home. Macadamia nut production is a big industry for Hawaii, and anyone visiting will benefit by finding the tasty, buttery nut in so many things. For instance, I spotted this bag of Hershey’s Kisses with Macadamia Nuts while I was on my way to the airport after my recent trip to Kauai. Unlike other chocolate-macadamia candies, these caught my eye because I had never seen the nuts in Hershey’s kisses before – was it a new item? or a limited edition product?
It turns out that these little kisses are only sold in Hawaii. Hershey’s bought Mauna Loa, a company that produces macadamia nuts on the big island, a few years ago and put out this regional kiss flavor soon afterward. Each milk chocolate kiss has about half of a macadamia nut inside. Some were a bit bigger than others, but none were small. The nuts were crisp, buttery and a great match for the chocolate. I haven’t had too many kisses lately, but if I had access to these year round, that just might change because they were so good.
As far as souveniers go, these also make a great take-home treat because you get so many candies in one package, and they cost a bit less (at least at the stores I was in) than the macadamia nut candies that were packed up just for tourists. The cashier who rang up my purchase asked if I had had these before. When I said no, she warned that I wouldn’t go back to regular kisses afterwards. I might have to, given the distance between me and a ready supply of these, but it will definitely be something I pick up earlier on my next trip to Hawaii so I can enjoy them while I’m on vacation, too.