Tortuga truffles debut in Cayman Island outlets

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- The Tortuga Rum Co. isn't resting on its popular rum cakes. The culinary firm's latest creation is Tortuga chocolate hazelnut rum truffles.

According to Tortuga's managing director, Robert Hamaty, the new confection re-creates a centuries-old Viennese hazelnut and milk chocolate recipe, updated with a Caribbean twist and a hint of Tortuga dark rum. Visitors can purchase the sweets at Tortuga's 15 retail outlets in the Cayman Islands, at Cafe Tortuga Caribbean Bar and Grille on Grand Cayman and at the duty-free shops at Owen Roberts International Airport.

The rum cake, by the way, is the Cayman Islands' most popular tourist souvenir, according to visitor surveys. It is also the destination's No. 1 export item and is now available in the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and on board Princess Cruise Lines' Sun Princess. In the U.S., the Tortuga rum cake debuted last fall in the gourmet section of Neiman Marcus store in Atlanta.

The truffles are the latest addition to the company's line of private label products which include 10 blended rums, a new coffee liqueur, fruit punch, drink mixers, gourmet sauces, three varieties of fudge and chocolate rum mints. Tortuga rums have garnered top awards in the annual Caribbean Rum Tasting contest, held each February on Barbados.

Earlier this summer, Tortuga introduced two gourmet, rum-flavored coffees. In February, the Tortuga chocolate rum cake debuted for Valentine's Day. The cake is baked daily, along with thousands of the classic rum cakes, in the company's 1,700-square-foot bakery on Grand Cayman.

The company's 16th retail outlet located will open this fall next to the Cayman Turtle Farm, featuring a small bakery where visitors can watch the Tortuga rum cakes being baked and sample the varieties.

Tortuga Imports Inc., Phone: (800) 444-0625 for mail orders in North America, Fax: (888) 440-2253, E-mail: [email protected], Web: www.caribplace.com/foods/tortuga.htm

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