Best 27 Hawaiian fruit to try when you visit the islands (updated 2021)
Are you looking for interesting and unusual hawaiian fruits to try from Hawaii? If you enjoy eating tropical fruits, then you will love eating all the exotic fruits in Hawaii grown locally. When your in Hawaii, eating all the tropical fruits grown are such a simple and delicious part of visiting the islands. You can enjoy them raw or prepared into the many popular Hawaiian food dishes here to enjoy.
This guide shares the all of tropical fruit grown on the islands – when they are typically in season, the health benefits of eating each fruit and taste characteristics.
A Comprehensive Guide to Tropical fruits of Hawaii
Where to find Hawaii fruit on the islands
You can find most of these tropical fruits from Hawaii sold in different venues around the island when they are in season. Check for Hawaii fruit in season at your local farmers markets, grocery stores and even street fruit vendors selling what is in season locally.
** Or, if you’re adventurous and bold and see some gorgeous tree loaded with fruit in someone’s yard – try knocking on the door say hello with a smile. See if they will allow you to pick a few fruits to take home and sample. These will probably be the best fruit in Hawaii that you’ll ever taste.
When is tropical fruit season in Hawaii?
What are the tropical fruits of Hawaii and when do they come into season you ask? Many of the typical fruits like bananas, citrus, coconut, papaya and pineapple have year-round production but a few like avocados and citrus plants have full production in the winter to spring time frames in Hawaii. Many of the exotic fruits in Hawaii bear fruit in the later spring to summer season when there is a bounty of tropical fruit available at farmers markets, fruit stands and mom and pop grocery stores around the islands.
What popular fruit is Hawaii known for?
The most popular fruit in Hawaii is the pineapple which was established as a commercial crop started in Hawaii in the late 1890s and eventually became a very popular fruit exported next to sugar as an agricultural crop sold whole or canned. Most fruits now are grown in small production gardens and sold in farmers markets, grocery stores or street side vendors selling fresh fruit. Everyone has their favorite Hawaiian fruit, but pineapple is the best when it is fresh, ripe and ready to eat.
Enjoy the these tropical fruits grown in Hawaii
1. Hawaiian pineapple
Always known as a symbol of Hawaii and Hawaiian hospitality, pineapples are the most popular and iconic fruit of Hawaii.
Pineapple plantations where big on the islands with large exports of the fruit to the mainland and many places abroad of canned pineapples or fresh fruit. Now pineapple production tends to be grown on smaller farms selling to the local markets and some shipments to the mainland. The main two types of pineapple are the yellow and white pineapples which are both sweet, juicy and delicious to eat raw or served in salads, smoothies, baked goods and as an ingredient to many prepared dishes. You’ll know when pineapples are ready to eat when you touch the skin and it starts to give, the colors start changing to a yellow orange on the skin and you can smell the sweetness of the fruit coming out.
When is Pineapple season in Hawaii?
Typically pineapple season is fairly long and starting from April until September year year.
Check out my post of Hawaiian pineapples in season here for more fascinating details and images and information about this spectacular fruit grown in Hawaii.
2. Hawaiian mango
With over 60 different varieties of mangoes grown in Hawaii, you’ll have fun tasting all of the different mangoes in season all around the islands. The most common mangoes grown in Hawaii are the are the Hayden, Pirie, Manila, and Raposa mangoes. Check for mango ripeness when they change from green to yellow and orange hues and start to get soft to the touch which indicates ripeness. When you also smell a mango with lots of heavy scents to almost overripe stage, you’ll know when it is ready to eat.
When is Mango season in Hawaii?
Mangoes come into season starting May and run to late July timeframe which offers a long season for eating fresh mangoes or used into delicious dishes like sour mango pickles, salads, smoothies, mango bread and as a delicious side dish to an entrée.
Check out my post on Mango season in Hawaii for more details about this delicious fruit.
3. Hawaiian avocado
Hawaiian avocados have a long season in Hawaii with over 200 varieties grown on the island and starting from November until Mid-Spring with some varieties giving fruit twice yearly. That makes for some delicious avocados you can eat for a long time on the islands. Loaded with 20 nutrients, healthy minerals, and rich in anti-oxidants, this fruit keeps you healthy, with younger skin, anti-aging properties and so many health benefits. When soft to the touch and ready to eat avocados are great eaten raw, in salads, smoothies, sides to entrees and so many other wonderful recipes using this delicious fruit.
When is avocado season in Hawaii?
Avocados in Hawaii produce all year but the main production season starts from October to May timeframe.
Check out more details with Hawaiian avocados here and images, growing and recipes on this post.
It’s not easy getting fresh coconuts that can grow on trees that can top at 100 feet. But when you get a fresh coconut for it’s refreshing water and meat, then there’s nothing that compares to eating coconuts on a hot day in Hawaii. Coconut is eaten raw, cooked or dried shaved coconut. The milk and meat are used in a variety of traditional Hawaiian dishes sweet and savory along with coconut oil which is processed and used for cooking healthy balanced dishes. The meal, oil and milk of the coconut has many health benefits with for hair treatment, reduce heart problems and obesity and keeping the skin moist and younger looking.
When is Coconut season in Hawaii?
Coconuts grow and produce all year on the islands so you can get and eat fresh coconuts any time you come to visit the islands.
5. Apple Bananas
What’s fantastic about bananas in Hawaii is that this is a year-round producing fruit that has over 70 varieties of bananas including Apple, Ice Cream, Cavendish, Red, Lady Fingers, Ae Ae, Praying hands and Plantains. The most abundant type grown on the islands is the apple banana varieties which you can find at all the fruit stands, farmers markets and grocery stores on the islands. Packed with potassium, B6 and rich in fiber, this healthy fruit can be eaten raw or used as an ingredient in baked goods, smoothies to savory dishes incorporating the fruit. Bananas can be harvested raw in their bunches and left to ripen and ready to eat or use in making a sweet or savory dish.
6. Hawaiian Papaya
Another year found tropical fruit found on the islands, papayas are so diverse in use and health benefits to eating. Found in every Hawaiian backyard, easy to grow papayas are a fantastic fruit can be eaten raw or used in sweet to savory dishes. Loaded with healthy nutrients along with vitamins A, C, E and K, beta carotene and anti-oxidants papayas are the perfect healthy food alternative on the islands. Papayas are ripe when the skin color changes from green to yellow and orange and starts to become soft to the touch and you can smell some sweet aromas. Eaten raw, mixed into smoothies, cooked green in savory dishes or into sweet desserts, this fruit is so well used into a variety of dishes that add a sweet note to any meal.
Try these Exotic Hawaiian tropical fruits now
There are a lot of exotic fruits of Hawaii grown one the islands. Most of these exotic fruits originally from tropical areas of the Americas, Asia and even sub tropic zones like Mexico. Look out for these exotic and colorful Hawaiian fruit to try when you see them in the farmers markets and fruit stands that you’ll see on your travels.
A small tree with oval shaped fruit that can be pinkish, light green to creamy yellow fruit inside with edible seeds. When the guava fruit is ripe and soft to the touch you can eat the entire fruit including the skin and seeds and tastes like a cross of strawberry, kiwi and peach flavor. Popular as a weight reduction fruit with only 37 calories per fruit, guavas are packed with minerals and vitamins that make this a great low-calorie fruit, cancer prevention and blood sugar reduction along with diabetes prevention. Typically, Guava is eaten raw, pulped for smoothies, sauces, drinks, jams and the leaves used for suppressing blood sugar spikes.
8. Passion fruit or Hawaiian lilikoi
Lilikoi or passion fruit came originally from South American and a few different varieties are grown on the islands. With a sweet to tart taste, the seeds and pulp are just scooped out of the pod and eaten fresh. Or lilikoi is used for many things like smoothies, jams, drinks, dressings and so many other ingredients to food dishes or baked goods.
9. Rambutan in Hawaii
This exotic red and hairy type of fruit originates from Southeast Asia and has the flavors of Lychee, grapes and longan fruit but dryer and thicker in taste. The skin is various shades of red and softer when ripe and easy peel off to reveal a whitish golf ball sized fruit with a large seed in the middle. Another healthy fruit packed with Vitamin C, Manganese, Iron, Calcium Potassium and other minerals packed o each healthy bite of fruit. When the fruit turns browner and smells rancid, then it is already overripe and should not be eaten. This weird Hawaiian fruit is definitely one to try if you find it for sale anywhere in the markets.
10. Hawaiian Lychees
An Asian fruit tree introduced to Hawaii and is now local favorite fruit when it is in season, the bright red fruit is easy to peel and pop into your mouth and just spit out the seed. The bright red smell, softer skin and fruit smell will tell you that the fruit is ready to harvest and eat. Ovoid shaped with fleshy white to translucent flesh with a flowery scent and tastes like a combination of Longan, rambutan fruit and grapes. Low fat and rich in vitamin C and various minerals and nutrients, lychees are 82% water and the rest in pulp meat. Lychees are best eaten fresh, canned, salads, smoothies, drinks or used in various dessert dishes.
11. Dragon fruit from Hawaii
A strange looking fruit with scaly looking skin and mostly red and green, but also in shades of yellow and green, dragon fruit when ripe tastes sweet, watery like watermelon and kiwi and pear overtones. A healthy fruit that is filled with anti-oxidants, Vitamin C, Phosphorus and Calcium, the fruit is eaten raw or used in salads, smoothies or garnish in sweet to savory dishes. Pick the fruit when it is a bright color and slight softness to the touch as a testing indicator, avoid any fruit that is starting to turn brown.
12. Soursop fruit
A menacing looking green fruit with pointy hairs like a Dr. Suess fruit, Soursop fruit is the type of fruits locals either love or hate entirely. Rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and nutrients, Soursop is thought to be a vital cancer prevention. boosts immunity, improve gastrointestinal health and reduce blood pressure. The fruit is eaten raw, mixed in smoothies, sauces and even ice cream. When the skin is tender and soft to the touch it is ripe and will taste is like a creamy custard with seeds and a combination of flavors like cherimoya, banana and citrus.
13. Mountain Apple
Very different from typical apples, Mountain Apples are bell shaped and ready to eat when the fruit is a bright red color. Crispy with floral notes that smell and taste like a rose, the fruit is edible raw or used in juice, smoothies or salads, desserts and even a type of apple sauce Hawaiian style.
14. Chico or sapote fruit
Fresh Sapote or Chico fruit when ripe is soft to the touch on the surface and the fruit is sugary sweet, creamy and easy to digest. This powerful fruit has Vitamin A, C and B, filled with anti-oxidants and micro nutrients, potassium, magnesium and other fantastic healthy minerals. Eaten fresh and raw, the fruit is also used in juice, smoothies, desserts and
15. Surinam Cherry
Surinam Cherries are also called a variety of names including Brazilian Cherry, Pitanga, Cayenne Cherry or nangapiri with the fruit tasting like sour cherries with a very large seed but can be sweeter with darker colored berries. A healthy fruit loaded with vitamin C and A, the fruit helps prevent heart burn, bronchitis, stomach ache and decreases blood pressure, the leaves are used to treat diabetes and is antirheumatic. Eaten raw or just to make jams, jellies, syrup, pie and other desserts. An easy to grow plant, you’ll find Surinam cherry in many backyard gardens as shrubs or small trees.
Grown originally from China and now grown in Hawaii with popular varieties like Fuyu and Hachiya, persimmons grow well in Hawaii and mostly in small family gardens and you will find them available at farmers markets and specialty mom and pop shops or street side vendors. Persimmons have a sweet honey flavor with pear and sweet potato taste sometimes crunchy with soft centers. When ripe the fruit is yellow orange and soft to the touch. Rich in Vitamin A, C and B6 and fiber, persimmons are fat free and a good source of natural sugar and carbohydrates. Persimmons are tasty fresh and raw or used in appetizers, salad, puddings, as sides to entrees and even dried fruit.
17. Jackfruit from Hawaii
Eating fresh Jackfruit in Hawaii is an acquired taste with this aromatic fruit that is smelly and intoxicating when ripe in the same family as Durian. A fruit coming from Southeast Asia, Jackfruit is actually fruit that is a cluster of ovary type fruits that comes from flower clusters that produces very large fruit that can easily weight 10 to 20 pounds for one fruit. Dense and fibrous, the flesh tastes like apple and bananas combined but when cooked young has a meat and pork type of consistency. Jackfruit can be made into sweet and savory dishes, used in smoothies and drinks, used as a meat substitute, canned or eaten raw when it is ripe. When harvested green, jackfruit is used as a meat substitute that has the texture and consistency of pork or chicken and great in stir fries, curries and casserole dishes.
18. Sweet Longan
Longan fruit originally comes from Southeast Asia with the fruit harvested into clusters like grapes. Sweet with a burst of juice when you peel the skin the translucent flesh is similar in taste to that and lychee and rambutan. Longan fruit is rich in vitamin C and other nutrients. Outside of eating the fruit raw, Longan is used in soups, sweet and sour foods, desserts, snacks as a dried food and canned in sweet syrup.
19. Hawaiian Star Fruit
The Star Fruit, also called carambola is shape like a five-point star shaped fruit that is green to yellow in coloration when ripe and varies in crispy, watery, sour to sweet taste like watermelon and eaten raw or used in salads, garnishes, jams and jellies, desserts, savory dishes or juiced. The fruit is nutritious with anti-oxidants, healthy plant compounds and full of Vitamin C, B5, fiber and various nutrients that is low calorie, cancer prevention properties and reduces inflammation.
20. Durian Fruit
This spiky fruit is considered the King or fruits and the Durian fruit originating from Southeastern Asia is either loved or hated fruit on the islands. Some equate the durian smell as sweet and rich and other’s think it smells foul like rotten sewage. The ripe yellow fruit is soft and custardy in taste that is similar to creamy custard with garlic tossed in that makes it a very distinctive acquired taste. Durian fruit is rich in iron, potassium and vitamin C, lowers blood pressure, improves skin health and muscle strength. The fruit is eaten raw or used in savory dishes like curries, desserts, baked goods to even candy.
Called the King of Fruits mangosteen fruits are highly prized and also expensive in Hawaii with limited production grown in small farms in all the islands. With limited growth and seasonality in Hawaii limited production this fruit is only found in specialty or high-end markets. Highly nutritious, boosts immune systems and powerful anti-oxidants and vitamin rich in C B1, B2 and B9, anti-inflammatory, cancer prevention properties and rich in fiber. Ripe Mangosteens are a little hard to open with a hard and thick shell that covers tangerine like white slices of juicy sweet to tangy fruit that is citrus, pineapple and mango flavors. Best eaten fresh and raw in salads or juiced.
22. Orange and lemon citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are plentiful and always in season on the islands with a variety orange, tangerine and lemon, lime fruit that is always in a backyard garden. Most of the orange type fruit is discolored and green making ripeness checking difficult, but oranges, tangerines and mandarin oranges are always flavorful and juicy. Lemons limes and other lemony fruits are also easy to grow and plentiful in Hawaii. Orange and lemon fruit are eaten raw, used in sweet and savory dishes and the skins grated, dried and mixed ingredients to many dishes with a citrus overtone.
23. Rollinia fruit
This strange looking fruit with nubby skin encases white creamy flesh with a custardy taste similar to Cherimoya and other apple custard type fruits. It’s easy to cut or manually open the skin when it is soft to the touch and starts to change color from green to lighter green and yellow and ready to eat. Rollinia has a short shelf life and need to be eaten right away when it is ripe or it starts to turn black and the fruit is grainy and mushy. Save the seeds if you want to try growing your own Rollinia fruit when is easy from seed.
24. Cacao fruit
Cacao fruit is not as well-known as the seed that eventually can be made into delicious chocolate but the fruit is so aromatic, with tropical fruit that is white, creamy and taste of pineapple, peaches and mangoes combined into a delightful taste. Best eaten raw, the fruit is also processed into juice, smoothies and other desserts as an ingredient to make something tropical, sweet and tasty. You can find fresh cacao fruit in season at farmers markets, road side stands and even specialty food places selling the whole fruit and seed for sale in Hawaii.
25. Hawaiian Raspberry
More unique and endemic to the islands in cooler mountain locations around the islands, Hawaiian raspberry fruits are so much larger than their equivalent in the mainland. Native ‘Akala fruit is tall and rambling with fruit that is ready to harvest in summer with plump yellow to red fruit that is tarty to sweet depending on the coloration. Used mostly in jams, jellies and pies the berries are delicious just eaten raw when you can find them in the jungle forest and mountain areas of each island.
The cherimoya plant is grown in limited farms around Hawaii with a relatively short shelf life, but it is worth seeking out if you can find it for sale. Part of the Annona family, the white creamy fruit is flavorful with banana, mango and peach taste similar to Rollinia. Cherimoya is high in anti-oxidants, prevents high blood pressure, fosters good eye health, produce good digestion and is has cancer prevention properties.
27. Jaboticaba fruit
The brazilian cherry tree is interesting in that the fruit actually develops directly on the main branches of the tree and is a grapelike sweet fruit that is eaten raw, used in jams and jellies, turned into drinks and smoothies and even wine. The purple black fruit has translucent and white pulp which is grape like and very sugary in taste. The fruit is full of fiber, vitamin C, Calcium and Phosphorus and is a treatment for Asthma, Dysentary and Diarrhea and excessive dry skin.
What are fruit trees grow best in Hawaii?
What fruits grow in Hawaii best you may ask – practiacally all of them! If you want to try and grow your own, save the seeds from these tropical fruits. Many of the seeds from Cacao, Rollinia, Surinam Cherry, Rambutan, Papaya and Guavas easily propagate into plants that can develop fruit.
Most of the other tropical fruit trees do better as grafted plants to produce tropical fruit faster and true to form. If you are in a warmer environment, it is easy enough to toss your seeds into the ground and see what sprouts from the seeds your toss out. Check out this post on the top tropical fruits to grow in Hawaii here for reference to their excellent Hawaii fruit chart and the Hawaii fruit season calendar on the islands.
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Check these other Hawaiian food posts
With so many tropical fruits of Hawaii to choose from, it makes sense to see what they look like, taste and a little bit about them before you try them. Hopefully when you do spot these in your local market, you will give some of them a shot and see if its tasty.
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