Cashews and Macadamias Take the Lead
Posted on 28 March 2017
We have been using our blog over the past several weeks to explore the inspiration and production behind some of the Ococoa confections. Today, we shine a light on the last two flavors in the Butter Cup Collection: the Cashew Apricot Cup and the Macadamia Guava Cup.
Many of the flavor combinations in the Butter Cup Collection are inspired by Diana’s life experiences or pay tribute to the Middle East’s culinary heritage. However, the Cashew Apricot and Macadamia Guava cups demonstrate that sometimes a chocolatier simply has to follow wherever the flavors lead. In exploring the wide variety of nut and seed butters, Diana knew she wanted to use the creamy butters of cashews and macadamias, which left her in need of complementary jams. After a couple experiments, she chose the tangy flavor of apricots to play off the more delicate cashew butter, and luscious guava jam to pair with macadamias for a distinctively tropical taste. The end result is a pair of cups that showcase brighter flavors in the collection, with the more subtle nut butters and lighter fruit jams.
Here are some extra fun facts about these two cups and their ingredients:
Cashews are not technically nuts; they’re drupes. A drupe is a fruit that is pulpy on the outside and contains a hard shell inside, and that hard shell houses a single seed that we eat. Perhaps we should devote a future blog post to the difference between nuts, drupes, and legumes.
Our talented graphic designer loves the Cashew Apricot cup, but he is hesitant to eat any products we might be able to sell. So at times, Diana will purposely make Cashew Apricot “misfits” for him, as a small token of our enormous appreciation.
While Hawai’i had a key role in popularizing macadamia internationally, more than half of the nuts production occurs in South Africa and Australia.
Guava fruit contain a naturally high level of pectin, which is a gelling agent, making it a popular choice for jams, particularly in South America.
I personally don’t care much for coconut, so I shied away from the Macadamia Guava cup for many years. Yet, now the cup is easily among my very favorites and I can't get enough of the lush jam and creamy butter. In fact, Diana has to make the guava jam when I’m not around, so I don’t “taste test” too much of the goods.
And, just like that, we have officially introduced you to the entire collection of Butter Cups. Now, the next time you're enjoying a box with your friends, you can sound like an insider and impress them with your knowledge of ma’amoul, gianduja, and drupes.