There’s Much More to Hawaiian Fruit than Pineapple!

A random survey on the subject “The fruit most related to Hawaii?” revealed something interesting: everyone answered pineapple. Is that what you’d have said as well? If so, it’s time to widen your tropical fruit horizons. Because there’s much more to Hawaiian fruit than pineapple!

Today Hawaii offers a really exciting world of unknown and exotic fruit. These mysterious, tropical fruits cover a colorful spectrum of edible rainbow. They’re all cram-packed with nutrition as well as flavor, too. For instance, here’s what I discovered on a very Hawaiian website, (the official website of the island of Kaua’i):

Rambutan. Also known as Lychee or “Longan” (translating to “Dragon Eye“) this sweet fruit comes in many shapes and colors. The most recognizable are round, covered in soft hair-like spikes and bright scarlet. While seemingly uninviting, the inside offers a sweet and subtle white flesh, reminiscent of grapes or cantaloupe.

Egg Fruit. Not exactly shaped like an egg, this fruit’s texture is exactly that of a hard-boiled egg yolk. The sweet and savory meat is smooth and creamy with a slight crumble. Deemed the “pumpkin pie” fruit, the taste resembles both that seasonal dessert as well as sweet potatoes!

Pitaya “Dragon Fruit”. This otherworldly fruit looks as though it has just been lit on fire. Hot pink and green flames lick up around the sides, giving it its mythical nickname of “Dragon Fruit.” The inside, even more baffling, is a transparent white gel-like meat (think Kiwi) freckled with tiny seeds. The taste is something between a tangy pear and melon.

Strawberry Guava. Peppered along the lush green trails in the mountains of Kauai, Strawberry Guavas are a sweet and refreshing treat after a long hike. A mix between the two flavors (strawberry and guava, as the name implies) these dainty fruits are filled with crunchy seeds and tart, mouthwatering insides.

Poha Berry. Bright orange, round berries that resemble cherry tomatoes, Poha come pre-wrapped in their whimsical paper lantern looking shell. Like a tomato, the berries contains numerous small seeds. Ripe Poha characteristically have a mildly tart flavor, making it ideal for fruit salads, jam or homemade pies.

Papaya. A better known fruit, Papaya still baffles some visitors. Usually enjoyed cut in half, hollowed and sprinkled with lime, this tasty melon-like fruit grows all around the island and can be found throughout the year.

Starfruit. These bright yellow fruit have a waxy outside and a sweet, pear-like inside. You can eat the whole thing (skin and all) and when sliced in half you’ll find out exactly why the fruit has earned its out-of-this-world name.

Cherimoya. The Cherimoya has been known to taste like the perfect mix of banana, strawberry and pear. An oddly shaped fruit, it almost appears as though it were a melon and artichoke hybrid. Pick one up at the local farmer’s market, slice in half and enjoy!

Breadfruit. Its name is derived from the texture of the cooked fruit, which has a potato-like flavor, similar to freshly baked bread. Locals substitute bread for the fruit creating new fun dishes like breadfruit pizza or even nachos! “Ancestors of the Polynesians found the trees growing in the northwest New Guinea area around 3,500 years ago.” (Wikipedia)

Lilikoi or “Passionfruit”. Also growing in popularity is the Passionfruit. Growing wild around Kauai this fragrant fruit is “round to oval, either yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit is both eaten and juiced; passion fruit juice is often added to other fruit juices to enhance the aroma.” (Wikipedia) Many locals can assure you that Passionfruit is the perfect ingredient for a tasty summer cocktail.


    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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