Product Review: Royal Hawaiian Orchards Fruit & Macadamia Crunches

Disclaimer: In exchange for two samples of the Royal Hawaiian Orchards Fruit & Macadamia Crunches, I am writing this product review.

Although the Rainforest Crunch Bar (ok, and Reese’s Pieces) was my holy grail of sugary snacks, there are fortunately plenty of options that can vie to play second fiddle.  With their Royal Hawaiian Orchards Fruit & Macadamia Crunches, Royal Hawaiian Orchards is on the right track.

The company can trace its roots back to Hilo, Hawaii in 1948, when it was founded as the Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Company.  These days, although Hawaii is a leading exporter of macadamias, in the 1880s they were originally brought to the archipelago from Australia as a decoration, and as a means to prevent soil erosion.  Not to mention, the trees take roughly 15 years to mature, which is still a much shorter time than for airline executives.

They sent me one pack of the Blueberry Pomegranate Macadamia Crunch, and one Kona Coffee Banana Macadamia Crunch.  I was a bit wary at first, because prior experience has taught me that crunch or brittle in the title might spell imminent danger for my incisors.  In spite of the name, they both ended up being quite easy on the teeth.

Blueberry and pomegranate individually, are foods that I greatly enjoy.  More and more, however I see the combination in foods and drinks, and just don’t get it.  To begin with, I don’t find either to be a strong flavor, so whatever happens when they cross paths seems to mute the resulting taste.  The same can be said about the blueberry pomegranate macadamia crunch.  There was a subtle sweetness, and that’s about it.  Try to focus on local (i.e. tropical) flavors instead.

On the other hand, I was a big fan of the coffee and banana sample.  Hawaii is known for its coffee, too, and the sweetness of the bananas paired quite well with the bean.  I suppose these would be a good late morning work pick-me-up, and it would be nice to see them sold alongside – or, instead of? – the ubiquitous Mauna Loa chocolate macadamias at airport shops.

Royal Hawaiian Orchards, in addition to the Fruit & Nut Crunches, sells dark chocolate-covered macadamias, seasoned macadamias, macadamia butter, and variety packs.  Here’s to hoping that they’ll also attempt a Rainforest Crunch Bar of their own.

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