Hawaiian Fruit

Wow Matt thanks.This is getting better all the time.
The coworker from Molokai mentioned lau-lau I think,because I brought in some canned tropical fruit,one was Jack fruit and he said they used that as an ingredient.
Thanks again and for the videos. Brady

I live on the Big Island, so I can definitely recommend it. Kauai is great too. And there’s a wonderful assortment of fruit all year, however, if you want the most variety, consider visiting between June-August. During Summer we have white sugarloaf pineapple, black sapote, mango, lychee, longan, starfruit, cherimoya, atemoya, soursop, mangosteen, dragonfruit, jackfruit and mountain apple to name a few.
Papaya is available all year, but you need to visit the Big Island to get the very best. The variety doesn’t have a name, but it is a large, heirloom papaya with the sweetest red/orange flesh I’ve ever tasted. (it is sugary sweet right through the neck too!) It’s sold almost exclusively at the Waimea farmers market.
You can also find one of my favorite fruits, Rollinia Deliciosa, during late Summer and early Fall. Tastes like lemon/banana custard. The tree is related to cherimoya, atemoya, and soursop. It fruits sporadically throughout the year, but it can be found most reliably between August-October. It is very expensive, but definitely worth trying at least once if you can’t grow your own.



You’re living the dream!

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Matt, haha, I guess the grass is always greener on the other side! :wink:
I’m growing my own coffee here on the windward side of the island, but you’re right, 100% Kona is the absolute best. Mine is bland in comparison.
And I don’t know about that guy in the video, 'cause I think black sapote does taste like chocolate pudding. Must be the particular tree it came from.

Farmer’s markets are probably your best bet. Waimea’s was small, but had mangosteen, which I love. Hilo farmer’s market is great for lots of fruit variety. Mangosteen, longan, rambutan, and the white pineapple is out of this world. I also bought Ice Cream Bean there, can’t say that I really liked it though.

In general, on the Kona side of the Big Island, I was surprised at the lack of fruit/variety. I’ve always wondered why…maybe all the good growing land is dedicated to coffee??

There were fruit stands all selling basically the same thing, bananas and papaya. I saw huge mango trees here and there, but not a lot of people selling them. I’ve also been told that a lot of the fruit stands buy their fruit at Costco and then resell it at their stand, not sure if that is true though.

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This Spring I’m making a pilgrimage to Maui and hope to see the famous Makawao Green Sapote tree.

Sounds like fun.I was checking for some pictures and the skin looks orange and maybe the flesh also. Brady

The skin is green – somewhat like Fuerte Avocado, and the flesh is orange-red. They are native to central America, growing in forests alongside avocado, white sapote, and sapodilla. I’m growing a seedling of the Makawao tree pictured here.

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Try the banana bread and yellow passionfruits while you’re there (if they’re ripe). Be sure to take the Road to Hana.

If you need a place to stay, then I would recommend the Banyan Tree House B&B on Baldwin Ave, which consists of several cottages on an historic upcountry plantation.

Have fun. I’m jealous. I won’t afford another trip to Maui until my kid is grown up, if ever. The islands are paradise.

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Yes, definitely spending a day driving the Hana Hwy from Ho’okipa down to Ke’Anae black beach with many stops in between. We’re also having a morning in Makawao before heading up to the volcano visitors center. In total my wife, 3 teenage grandchildren, and I will spend most of a week on Maui – arriving on a Sunday and departing on the following Saturday. We’re staying in a condo at Ka’anapali Beach. It will be my first trip to Hawaii. :slight_smile:


The thing that always surprises first time fruit aficionados who visit Hawaii is how seldom you will see the rarer tropical fruits. Bananas, mangoes, avocados, and papayas are everywhere. But jackfruit, rambutan, and everything else are sometimes hard to find. The trick is to research the island you are visiting carefully before you go so you can find the places that sell the more uncommon tropical fruits. You would think the grocery stores would be overflowing with tropical fruit but bananas, mangoes, avocados, and papayas are usually all you find and even those are the most common varieties. Try to find, and buy, the rarer, better, mangoes, bananas and avocados early in your trip so they will ripen before you leave. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding rare bananas the last day you’re in Hawaii and they’re not ripe enough to eat. You’ll also see little yellow guavas growing all over the islands, especially on Maui. These are usually too sour to eat. Finding high quality guavas is much more difficult. I am always shocked by how many people have homes with large yards and the only thing they’re growing is grass. Despite teh promising name, the Tropical Plantation on Maui also has such exotic fruits as bananas, mangoes, avocados and papayas. It’s very frustrating. The last time I was there they started growing star fruit which is one of the least tasty of all tropical fruits. There is no reason they couldn’t plant jackfruit, litchis and rambutans but they don’t. The Tropical Plantation now has a little farmers market area in front and sometimes you can find better quality guavas there and an occasional unusual tropical fruit but it’s still a major disappointment when you consider what they could be growing. When you’re driving the back-roads of Maui or the other islands don’t ignore the occasional road side fruit stands even if they’re only selling bananas and avocados because some of these stands are selling very rare, very high quality bananas and avocados. In fact, the average backyard seedling avocado in Hawaii is about 50,000 times better (my estimate- it might only be 40,000 times better) than the crappy Hass avocados that have taken over the California avocado market.


Yes, it’s not in my travel plans. Instead my fruit search will be focused on the Makawao area.

I think you’re aware that “Hass” fruit sold in markets is a USDA grade and not a specific cultivar? Stewart qualifies!

I much prefer Reed to any “Hass”. I’m growing it here in Vista CA.

The USDA has a special program for Hass, but to my knowledge, only Hass avocados are covered by the Hass program. It’s not a grade but a special category that allows special treatment for Hass avocados where the US government tries to get people to eat these crappy avocados.

In my experience, that’s not the way it works at the packing house.

LOL. I’m not surprised.

A really nice poster of Big Island Hawaii avocado varieties -

and a tropical fruit poster that has estimates of the dates when the fruits are ripe in Hawaii -


They also have posters of figs, citrus, bananas and mangoes.

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… and yet none of them are native!

Which is one of the reasons I don’t focus on natives…

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With the renovations going on at our home I couldn’t go on the Maui Trip but Janet and 3 grandchildren ages 16, 17, 18 did!

Here’s a shot Janet took of bananas hanging out to ripen at a proprietor near Hana. :slight_smile:


Yellow (Canistel), Chico (Sapodilla), and White sapotes :slight_smile: