No Hawaiian vacation would be complete without sampling the incredible fruit in Hawaii.
Tropical Fruit in Hawaii
I started visiting Hawaii with my family when I was a teenager. After we arrived, my parents would always make it a priority to stop by a farmers’ market or fruit stand and pick up some local fruit. I grew to love the tropical Hawaiian fruit.
Now, the fruit in Hawaii is something I look forward to when planning a Hawaii vacation. Along with the beach and sunshine, I’m dreaming of fresh Hawaiian papaya, pineapple, and mango.
Here are 17 of my favorite fruits in Hawaii.
Papaya is my all-time favorite fruit in Hawaii and it grows year-round so no matter when you visit you can always find fresh papaya. Yes, you can buy papaya in the continental United States. But, it will be outrageously expensive and won’t taste as fresh or as sweet as the papaya in Hawaii.
My favorite way to eat papaya is to cut it in half, remove the seeds, drizzle with fresh lime juice, and then scoop the fruit out using the skin as a bowl. Best breakfast EVER.
2- Star Fruit
A Star fruit has a sweet mild taste and the consistency of a grape with a thicker skin. It looks like a star when sliced up and is a beautiful and tasty addition to a fruit salad.
Star fruit season in Hawaii is approximately September through April.
The unusual-looking Rambutan is about the size of a golf ball and covered with soft spikes. The fruit inside is sweet and has a consistency similar to a cantaloupe or grape.
To eat a rambutan, cut around the rough skin, remove the top half, and squeeze the fruit out. The pit in the center is large so you will want to remove it before eating the fruit.
The growing season for Rambutan fruit in Hawaii is October through March.
Lychee is in the same family as the rambutan. They are very similar in taste but the lychee has rough skin without any spikes. The fruit inside tastes very similar to the rambutan.
The growing season for lychee fruit in Hawaii is May through September.
5 – Longan
Another member of the rambutan/lychee family is the Longan. The longan is brown with smoother skin than lychee. You can eat longan the same way you would eat lychee or rambutan.
Longan was brought to Hawaii from China. The name longan came from the Chinese word longyan which means “dragon eye” because when cut open, the black pit inside the white fruit looks like a dragon’s eye.
Longan is one fruit in Hawaii that is easy to find whenever you visit Hawaii because the longan growing season is year-round.
There are over 200 different varieties of avocado grown in Hawaii. You will be amazed at the size of some avocados you find at local farmers’ markets. One avocado can make a whole bowl of guacamole!
Avocados are plentiful in Hawaii when they are in season (September through April). In Kauai, we met a lady selling avocados out of the trunk of her car in the Wal-Mart parking lot! You will also see lots of roadside stands selling avocados.
Nothing beats a fresh Hawaiian mango. So juicy and sweet, it is better than any dessert.
Mango trees can grow huge, up to 100 feet high, and produce hundreds of mangos per tree. If you are visiting Hawaii during mango season (May through October) fresh mangos are plentiful and easy to find.
An easy way to eat a mango is to cut it in half around the flat pit in the center, score the fruit, and scoop it out of the skin.
Coconuts are plentiful year-round in Hawaii and can be purchased at most farmers’ markets and roadside stands. The coconut vendor will chop a hole in a green coconut (the young green coconuts have the most coconut water) big enough to fit a straw. When the coconut water is gone, bring the coconut back to the vendor to cut the coconut meat out for you. Because store-bought coconut flakes usually contain added sugar, the meat of a fresh coconut isn’t as sweet. But, it is still a tasty snack.
Tip – Look for a vendor who has their coconuts in a cooler on ice. Coconut water is even more refreshing when it is cold.
Guava is a fruit that is not native to Hawaii but it grows prolifically there. In fact, the Strawberry Guava is an invasive plant that overtakes other vegetation around it. Guava was brought to Hawaii from Central or South America.
To eat guava, slice it like an apple and eat the sweet inside. Or, you can slice the guava in half and eat the middle with a spoon.
Guava ripens in two seasons in Hawaii. The first is August through December, and then again in January through April.
If you love pineapple, you absolutely need to try a pineapple grown in Hawaii. Good Pineapples are easy to find at any grocery store in the continental United States. But, a fresh-picked Hawaiian pineapple has the perfect blend of juicy, sweet, and tangy. Yum.
Interesting fact – Pineapples are slow-growing. It takes from a year and a half to two years to grow a single pineapple!
I’m always a little disappointed with any pineapple I buy from the store after returning from Hawaii.
Bananas are another fruit available all year round in Hawaii. They are plentiful and cheap to buy at farmers’ markets and roadside stands.
12 – Apple Banana
The apple banana is a unique variety of bananas grown in Hawaii. Apple bananas are shorter and fatter than the bananas you commonly find in grocery stores in the Continental United States. They have a unique taste that is slightly tangy and a little sweet.
The apple banana is one fruit in Hawaii you need to try. Even if you don’t like the bananas you purchase at the grocery store, you might find that you love apple bananas
13- Lilikoi (Passion Fruit)
Lilikoi is the Hawaiian name for passion fruit. Lilikoi season is from June through January in Hawaii. The one and a half to two-inch round fruits are plentiful at farmers’ markets when in season.
Passion fruit can be eaten right out of the rind and the seeds are also edible. Simply cut the rind in half and drink or scoop the fruit out. The taste is tart with a slight sweetness.
If you are turned off by the texture of the Lilikoi, you can blend up the fruit and then put it through a strainer. The juice can be made into a delicious tropical drink.
14- Dragon Fruit
I love dragon fruit just because of its unusual exotic look both inside and out. Dragon fruit season in Hawaii is from May through December. For such an exotic-looking fruit, the dragon fruit tastes surprisingly bland.
To eat dragon fruit, simply slice the fruit in half and spoon the fruit out of the rind. It makes a beautiful addition to a fruit salad and takes on the taste of the other fruits.
15 – Persimmon
The Persimmon is another unusual fruit in Hawaii. I had never even heard of persimmon until finding the unique fruit at a farmers market in Hawaii.
When ripe, persimmons are very sweet and delicious. The skin is edible but if you prefer you can peel the fruit before you eat it.
Persimmons grow best at an elevation over 500 feet. Harvest season for persimmons in Hawaii is short, from October to November.
Kumquats are a very unique fruit in Hawaii. They look like a small citrus fruit (about the size of an olive). But, unlike citrus fruit, you eat the skin of a kumquat. The skin is actually the sweet part of the fruit and the inside is sour. You can eat the whole thing but I like to cut it in half and take out the seeds before eating it.
Kumquats are in season in Hawaii from December through March.
17- Citrus Fruit in Hawaii
I had to include citrus fruits as one of the kinds of fruit in Hawaii you should try because there are so many different types of citrus fruit grown in Hawaii. If you go to a farmers market you can find oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, and grapefruit.
I love to buy fresh limes to squeeze on my papaya, it makes the perfect breakfast!
Buying Fruit In Hawaii From Farmers’ Markets
Because the fruit in Hawaii is so plentiful, there are lots of farmers’ markets in Hawaii.
Check out the State of Hawaii Agriculture Development Division website to find a farmers’ market to visit on your Hawaiian vacation. The website lists the dates and times of all farmers’ markets in the state.
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