The Hawaiian Islands, where cacao (the bean harvested to make chocolate) is grown, are a decadent destination for chocoholics and sweets lovers of all ages and tastes.

A chocolatier with 30-plus years experience in satisfying sweets lovers is BIG ISLAND CANDIES . Visit its factory, a true Hilo institution, to watch candy-and cookie-makers work in plain view behind a glass window at the rear of the store. Daily tours and free samples are available; just don’t leave without award-winning macadamia nut shortbread cookies or truffl es in tote. Visit bigislandcandies. com for info.

Yet another Hilo gem, BIG ISLAND DELIGHTS has been satisfying customers with its cookies and confections since 1996. Stop by its Hilo gift shop to nibble on biscotti, cookies and uncommon favors: chocolate-dipped pretzels, sprinkle-topped fortune cookies, chocolaty marshmallow lollipops and more. Visit bigislanddelights.com. BIG ISLAND CANDIES 808-935-8890 OR 800-935-5510

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