The magical island of Kauai is known for its production of creamy coconuts, tangy bananas, sticky mangoes and sweet pineapple. However living on Kauai, you come to discover a whole other world of unknown and exotic fruit. Most of which we haven’t even heard of!
What are some of these mysterious, tropical fruits? Let’s take a deeper look into the colorful spectrum of edible rainbow.
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.
2. 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!
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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.
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.
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!
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)
10. 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.
The Farm at Kukui’ula offers an impressive range of these exotic fruits. Talk a walk around the upcountry lake and alongside the lush garden grounds filled with blooming trees, flowers, and sprawling lawns. Watch as fruits and vegetables magically spring to life. Seasonal, organic and fresh, the Farm is arguably one of the most beautiful landscapes on Kauai. Members enjoy the laid back atmosphere, for you can come and go as you please. Whether to pick fresh cut flowers for your table or your entire next meal, there is something for everyone. Kukui’ula’s Chef takes pride in providing delicious farm-to-table dishes and hosting postcard perfect Farm Dinners.
See what other treasures await on Kauai.
Kukui’ula is here to help you discover what you’ve been missing.