Big Island Candies expands mochi brownie flavors

Big Island Candies recently launched two new flavors of its popular mochi brownies – passion fruit and blueberry, both wrapped in small plastic bento trays retailing for $11.75 online and at the Hilo location and online, and $12.75 at the Ala Moana store.

Mochi brownies combine the chewy, soft qualities of a butter mochi with the gooey richness of a brownie. he The two new fruit flavors join the original coconut and chocolate flavors. The lilikoi, or passion fruit, brownie is made from real fruit puree. The 10-ounce uncut mochi brownies are recommended to be eaten within two weeks for best flavor and texture.

Olivia and I bake a mean butter mochi, if I may say so myself. We were curious to try it, and we also took it to her summer workplace, Burgers on Bishop, for the feedback from real bakers- and a couple friends who drifted in. In all, nine people taste-tested the brownies. Here is what we thought:

Courtesy Big Island Candies

Most of us liked the mild lilikoi flavor, but we thought the product was a little thin as compared to the blueberry, which is much thicker. Chiko Gahinhin had the brilliant idea of warming it up, which brought out the butter and made it more moist.

Burgers on Bishop baker Evan Ebesu preferred the “denser bite” of the lilikoi and mused how much vanilla ice cream would add to the experience. He thought the blueberry mochi tasted like a blueberry muffin, with a flavor a bit too strong that lingers in the mouth. I share his opinion.

Burgers on Bishop line cook John Enos was in the minority who preferred the blueberry, but when pressed to finds more words, his answer was, “Mo’ betta.” A rival bakery manager stopped in the restaurant and enjoyed both of the mochi. Geri Gaspar has 25 years of experience working at a confection shop, and liked both equally. “It has the texture of mochi yet it’s chewy like a brownie! I’d buy these!” she enthused.

Courtesy Big Island Candies

Our friend Madison Kruer newly relocated here from Kentucky and she did not like it at all. We told her Japanese confections might be an acquired taste.

Sherrie Holi, President and Chief Operating Officer, says the company hopes this will cheer up people quarantining at home because of the coronavirus. “Desserts may be emotionally uplifting for many, especially during these challenging times, and people seem to love the familiar aromas and flavors of these baked goods,” she says.

Big Island Candies owns and operates two retail outlets in Hawaii. The Hilo flagship store and factory is located at 585 Hinano Street, while the Ala Moana store is on the street level of Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., near the Center Court. For store hours, call the Hilo flagship store and factory at (808) 935-8890 or the Ala Moana store at (808) 946-9213. For more information or to order online, visit the website at

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

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