Maui's locavore scene just got more interesting with the introduction of Maui Fruit Jewels. You'll find these candies made of organic produce at the Upcountry Farmers Market Saturday mornings.
Look for an inconspicuous vending stall operated by investment banker-turned Cordon-Bleu-trained artisan confectioner, Lin ter Horst, and her triathlete husband, Chris ter Horst.
A customer suggested the name, Maui Fruit Jewels, after being inspired by the beautiful natural jewel-tones of the candies.
Maui Fruit Jewels are made in orange, guava, mango and many other colors and flavors.
LIN ter HORST photo
They are the chef's take on the "pates de fruits," a sought-after gourmet French confection found in fancy chocolatiers and boutique shops around the world. It is often enjoyed with a dessert wine and gourmet cheese. But it's also simply consumed just like a fancy chocolate -on its own.
"We have lived in 14 cities on three continents, and Maui is one of the few places where lilikoi, guavas, prickly pears, coconuts, papayas, mangos, raspberries, persimmons, loquats, pomegranates, strawberries, lemons, sour sops, Surinam cherries and more all grow on a 700-square-mile island."
So the couple take advantage of Maui's bounty - and also use beets, jalapenos, celery and cucumbers, in addition to the ones above.
The dainty, one-inch candies shock the uninitiated with flavors intense and powerful and the textures are soft and chewy.
"Our candies contain no gelatin or carrageenans, no emulsifiers, no added flavorings or colors and are vegan and gluten-free," Lin adds. A native of Shanghai, she grew up in Manhattan and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in London. Chris is a native of the Netherlands and was an industrial engineer. Now, he trains for triathlons full time. The couple market their candies under Maui Epicure. Visit www.mauifruitjewels.com.