Hawaii’s Favorite 15 Fruits

by | Jan 31, 2024 | Information, Oahu

Hawaii is not only a lustrous tropical island with fantastic weather, but it is also a wondrous place to try unique fruits. Some of these exotic fruits give off special properties apart from the wondrous flavors they have. These fruits are even able to be bought in a grocery store or the local farmer markets on the islands. The exotic fruits of Hawaii are delicious on their own but are also used to create unique dishes.

But where do you even look for these fruits?

Although they can be found in local farmer’s markets, where would those even be? Well, one of the fan-favorite farmer’s markets is called the Kapi`olani Community College, a great place to go and get some fruit. Or just pick it off someone’s tree if you are feeling mischievous…

Popular Fruit?

When you think of Hawaii, what fruit do you think of? Generally, most people think of pineapples. The biggest reason for this is because of the pineapple plantations that have been in Hawaii since 1891. There’s even a pineapple maze on Oahu (one of Hawaii’s islands)! **Fun Fact: pineapples aren’t even native to Hawaii! They originated from South America**

Pineapple

This is a pineapple grown by my great-grandfather. Very tiny compared to most pineapples in Hawaii. (Orange for comparison)

Pineapples are the most popular and recognized fruit in Hawaii. With an entire pineapple plantation in Hawaii, they are eaten in various ways from just eating them as is to cooking pastries and sweets with them. If you ever want to embrace pineapples more, there’s even a maze in the Dole Plantation on Oahu.

Here's what a pineapple looks like fully grown

Mango

Fortunately, if you are a mango lover, a variety of mangos grow almost all year in Hawaii so you would never have to worry about a shortage. The best mangos usually come from local farmer’s markets so be sure to get some there. And if you aren’t or haven’t tried mangos before, Hawaii has multiple opportunities to have a taste of the mangos. Like pineapples, mangos are mixed into a lot of desserts and snacks in local restaurants.

Lychee

Lychee (one of my favorite fruits) is a local favorite in Hawaii. Although it originated from East Asia, it has become a staple part of Hawaii. Eaten in various forms, canned, in salads, smoothies, and fresh as is. It’s a very watery fruit but is also quite sweet.

Apple Bananas

These bananas are a lot smaller compared to standard bananas but they are very sweet! Compared to standard bananas, apple bananas are tangy and packed with fiber. They are also commonly baked into apple banana bread.

Guava

A lot of guava fruit are used in things like syrup or juice. There’s even a drink called POG (Passion-Orange-Guava) that people drink a lot in Hawaii. Guavas’ are even used for other sweets like ice cream or baked into cakes.

Guava can be found practically anywhere. Whether on a hiking trail or along the road, it’s very possible to find a guava tree around.

Passion Fruit

Passion fruit (another ingredient of POG) is usually in drinks like smoothies or juices, even jams! The taste itself can be quite sweet or tart and is used for baking desserts too!. In Hawaii, passion fruit have another name called lilikoi.

Papaya

The Hawaiian Papaya packed with vitamins and are found almost all around the island. Mixed into a lot of smoothies and baked in to desserts. When you open up the fruit, it would appear to be yellow or reddish-orange.

Mountain Apples

Here's some Mountain Apples that we collected before

Mountain Apples are a bit weird, compared to a regular apple, Mountain Apples are a lot smaller and are a but bell shaped. The are a bright red color and taste like a rose. You can eat them as is or make a smoothie or juice out of it. As for finding them, they are usually grown in the valley or mountain parts of the islands but can also be bought in local markets or some grocery stores (I’ve heard you can even get them at Costco)

Coconuts

The coconut nut is not a nut it’s the coco fruit. You can drink from the coconut and drink the water inside. There are some opportunities in Hawaii that help you do so. You can also get coconut milk by squeezing the coconut meat. But if you don’t want to drink from a coconut directly. You can also buy coconut water or milk from grocery stores around the islands.

Strawberry Guava

If you ever see food or drinks with the name strawberry guava, it’s more than likely to be this fruit (incase you are expecting it to be seperate) The taste of strawberry guava has a nice strawberry flavor and turns to a nice red when it’s ripe.

Persimmon

Persimmons are eaten sort of like an apple. Peel off the skin then slice them up! The texture is peach like but the flavor is something unique of it’s own.

Dragon Fruit

Compared to other fruits I’m used to, dragon fruit was quite strange when I saw it for the first time. A red base with green shades. It’s quite watery like a watermelon and packed with vitamin C. It’s used in a lot of smoothies.

Breadfruit

Compared to almost all the other fruits in Hawaii, breadfruit is quite starchy like a potato. Although not as popular as the other fruits it is used in used in a Breadfruit hummus

Starfruit

Starfruit has sort of a sweet-sour flavor, sort of a mix of pear, grape, and orange. The reason its called star fruit is because when you cut it up, the sliced shapes resemble stars. It can be eaten raw but is also used in jams and juices.

Aloha!

Hi, we are the Kim Family. We wanted to share our experiences living on Oahu and traveling around Hawaii.  We have four kids and who enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities.  We’ve learned a lot raising our kids here and wanted to share with you.  We hope it helps with whether you are visiting, living, or a little bit of both.

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Please note that many of these places we have visited personally or have been recommended by one of the more seasoned travelers within our friends-and-family circle. As someone who was born and raised in Hawaii and then had the experience of being a transplant from the mainland as an adult with a spouse and children, we want to make sure that we recommend things we enjoy or would like to do ourselves. Thank you for your support!

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