Kauai is one of the best places in the world to get your mind off of a super busy schedule. It has magnificent beaches to settle in, great sceneries to fill-up your soul, and lively parties to spice up your life. If you’re more of a food traveler, Kauai is also the best place to take a bite of the healthiest fruits nature has to offer.
The fruits we’ve featured on this list give amazing benefits to the human body and add a touch of summer even to an off-season trip to the island.
12 Best Kauai Fruits
With over a hundred variations, this tropical fruit can be added to almost any Hawaiian dish. Used mostly for desserts, you can prepare smoothies and juices from bananas which will complete a meal and satisfy those with a sweet tooth. This fruit is very common in almost all of Kauai’s fruit markets and is available all-year round. You can also find them in various areas of Kauai but remember to always ask permission when picking them off a tree as a farmer may already own it.
Although they look just like your typical jackfruit, do not be fooled by its appearance. Grab a sharp butcher knife and cut in half – upon slicing it open, you’ll realize that it’s not your ordinary fruit. This creamy and sticky pulp inside this fruit is very sweet and can be eaten raw by scooping it with a spoon. The beauty of this fruit is that it can be turned into many forms of a snack, including breadfruit chips.
Thanks to the early Polynesians, this miracle fruit grew and thrived in Kauai. You’ll find there is an abundance of this fruit on the island, and you’ll see street vendors sell its juice as refreshments. Coconut juice is prepared by cutting open the green husk and punching a straw into it or tipping it over your mouth to drink it. Aside from its juice, you can eat the gel-like meat inside it that gives the coconut its sweet flavor. Best enjoyed while basking under the sun at one of Kauai’s hidden beaches with friends and family by your side.
Although available year-round, it is best to eat this beautiful and uniquely shaped fruit during springtime. When it’s still not ripe, you can use this fruit as an ingredient for many Hawaiian entrees and main dishes. Once ripe in a bright orange or yellow color, you can enjoy it with salt, vinegar, or milk for dessert. Just slice it from the tip down, grab a spoon and scoop it. For a more intense flavor, add lemon or lime juice.
Also common in South East Asia, this tropical fruit tree is sometimes mistaken for a lemon tree. However, guavas are totally different from lemons, as it has a pinkish meat that is so sweet. What’s better is that every part of the fruit is edible, even its seeds. From juices, jams, and even quench-worthy margarita, you can find an abundance of this fruit in markets and farms during August to December and January to April.
One of the many unique fruits on the island, the lychee is a bright red berry-like fruit that typically grows during rainy seasons as it needs a lot of water to thrive. Although it has a hard shell, a tough nut to crack, and the meat inside is very juicy and gives a very sweet taste.
To grow healthy, sweet mangoes, the people of Kauai plant them near large bodies of water. With Kauai being surrounded by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, mangoes grown on the island are arguably one of the best in the world. You can pick it straight from its tree, if you can climb up a height of 60 feet! These fruits are perfect for smoothies, cake and other desserts. Be sure to come to the island during summer to enjoy Kauai mangoes at their best.
Also known as the passionfruit, this versatile fruit can be made into almost any dessert including a delicious jam, a tasty juice, and can also be a baking ingredient for chiffon pie. If you dine in at an upscale restaurant or a luau on the island, you’ll notice the fruit can even be blended into a nice margarita. The different ways to enjoy this fruit is seemingly endless due to its sweetness and versatility. This vine-growing fruit is best enjoyed during the months of July until January. An exotic fruit, with a tough skin and a soft pulp of vibrant juices inside – truly representative of the Hawaiian heart.
9. Kauai Sugarloaf Pineapple
The highlight of the island, the Kauai Sugarloaf Pineapple is known as one of the tastiest variety of pineapples in the world. Because the island is surrounded by ocean upon ocean, this pineapple grows with a rich flavor and little to no acidity. It’s so special that you’d need a pass to get it through agricultural inspection at the airport, and it’s not easy to get one! You’d be lucky to grab one at a fruit market as these sell like crazy within minutes. It is truly a tasty treat that you’ll want to take some back home. It takes 12 to 18 months for it to mature, but all the wait and care put into growing one is truly worth it.
This odd-looking fruit may not be visually appealing, but it packs a lot of flavor. It’s almost like it is a fusion of various fruits rolled into one – perhaps banana, pineapple, and passionfruit. You can make smoothies and juices from the meat of the soursop, also locally known as graviola. Packed with a lot of nutrients and antioxidants, a glass of soursop juice can be an excellent choice for maintaining good overall health. This fruit is available most parts of the year, so you’re sure to find this power fruit whenever you come to the island.
11. Star Fruit
Also known as the carambola, this citrus flavored fruit can be seen at the local farmers markets mostly during the fall and winter season. When you slice the fruit in half, the slices resemble a star shape, hence its name. This mild tasting sweet fruit leaves a taste of warm summer nights, especially the orange-colored ones.
Do not be deceived by its leather-like outer skin and hairy spines – this seasonal fruit is actually one of the mildest tasting fruits around. Best not to bite it head on. Grab it with both hands and press your thumbs hard against its skin to open it. You will be greeted with a delicious almost transparent inside which you can munch on until you get to its seed. This fruit usually grows during the fall and winter season when the cool winds give it more flavor.
Get them all in a basket or try them one by one – a taste of Kauai’s fruits can definitely add to the entire island experience. Farmers markets are popular community events in Kauai, so be sure to check the schedule for the area you’re staying in if you plan to try these fruits out. If you’re staying far from a town center, a trip to a fruit farm can be a great plan B.
12 Best Kauai Fruits You Shouldn’t Miss: Infographic