The 10 must-try fruits of Hawaii

There are a ton of fruits that grow in Hawaii, but some fruits stand out above the rest. Here are the top 10 Hawaii fruits of all time!

Tip: you’re much better off picking them yourself, and if you can’t do that then head to the farmers market.

Mango

Sweet and fleshy, bright orange, and one of the most distinct flavors on the planet — mango is the queen of tropical fruits. Mangoes were brought to Hawaii from Mexico in the early 1800’s, and dozens of varieties have thrived here ever since.

Papaya

Aside from being delicious, papayas contain antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. They are usually served in half, with a squeeze of fresh lime, and spooned out of its skin.

Tip: the best papaya varieties in Hawaii, at least according to me, are Kapoho and strawberry (which has a deeper red flesh).

Banana

So many people come to Hawaii thinking that all bananas are the longer, smoother ones they grew up with in the supermarkets. They they try the smaller, creamier apple bananas found across Hawaii — and never go back. Need I say more?

Lychee

Lychee season in Hawaii is really short — pretty much just June — and you can almost always find someone selling huge bags of the red-skinned fruit on the side of the road.

Lychees are sweetest fruits around, and unlike most other fruits listed here they are super easy to eat. You can also drop a lychee or two into your sparkling water, champagne or other favorite beverage.

Dragonfruit

Also known as “pitaya,” dragonfruit grows on cactus plants that otherwise look like invasive weeds (you can find them all over West Maui, by the way).

Most dragonfruit in Hawaii has white flash, but you can also find rich purple varieties depending on where you are. They are beautiful and peculiar fruits perfect as a guest fruit in fruit salads or acai bowls.

Pineapple

Pineapple was once a massive industry in Hawaii across all the major islands, including Lanai, “The Pineapple Island”.

Once peeled and cored, pineapple is hearty, sweet, and sometimes tangy. In Hawaii, you’ll mostly encounter the yellow-flesh variety. If you’re lucky…you’ll get the much sweeter, firmer, less acidic, and more elusive white pineapple.

Lilikoi

If there’s one fruit that sums up life on a tropical island — it’s the lilikoi, also known as passionfruit.

Small and unassuming on the outside, lilikoi is packed with a rich, dense, deeply-colored juice that — although tart — basically tastes like pure heaven.

Lilikoi juice is best blended with other juices and drinks.

Tip: get your hands on the sweeter, easier-to-eat Jamaican lilikoi.

Coconut

Not only are coconut trees easy on the eyes (and ears, when the tradewinds blow), they are are super refreshing drink! You can sip the sweet water of a young coconut right from the shell — perfect for rehydration, then spoon out the meat when you’re done. OMG.

Coconuts are considered a superfood because of their versatility and nutritional value. And they grow wild everywhere in Hawaii!

Guava

The most elusive of these top 10 Hawaii fruits, you won’t normally find guavas for sale at stores or farmers markets, which means you have to spot — and pick — them in the wild.

Since guavas are also delicate and prone to bruising and hungry birds, finding a fully fruiting guava tree in the wild is like spotting a double rainbow. But once you do, they are super yummy and filling. As for the seeds — they’re okay to eat, just don’t bite into them.

Image credits: Bermix Studio, Pineapple Supply Co., Charles Deluvio, Alistair Smailes, Marcello Aquino, Ethan Weil, Isaac N.C., Daniele Franchi, JACQUELINE BRANDWAYN

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