The best tropical fruit from Hawaii to try on the islands now (updated 2023)
It’s fun to try some Fresh tropical fruit from Hawaii when visiting the islands and getting them directly from a roadside stand or farmers market. Hawaii is blessed with warm and temperate weather for growing a variety or tropical fruits yearly and produce more cycles of fruit per year.
The variety of tropical Hawaiian fruit covers the gamut from commercially viable fruit like bananas and pineapples to new unusual varieties of fruit including rambutan, cherimoya, dragon fruit and lychee, fruits that are more commonly found in southeast Asian countries. All these delicious Hawaiian fruits are grown in Hawaii and sold fresh when in season at a variety of farmers markets, road-side stands and even grocery stores selling what is in season now.
What Hawaiian tropical fruits grow best from Hawaii?
With year round weather that supports growing tropical fruit year round, you’ll have an abundance of Hawaiian fruit to enjoy year round and in certain seasons for more exotic varieties of tropical plants and fruits. The more popular and well-known fruits like various citrus plants, coconuts, bananas, papayas and pineapples tend to have year round availability and other fruits able to fruit once or twice yearly and for longer seasons. There’s so many unusual and different Hawaiian tropical fruit now being grown from Southeast Asia, Central and Latin America and other exotic places around the world. With all these fruits brought from around the world, you’ll enjoy visiting Hawaii and trying out all the fruits in season at your local stores, farmers markets and fruit side stands all around the islands.
When is the best time to try Hawaiian tropical fruits in season?
Tropical fruits from Hawaii comes into production at various times of the year. Year round you can find bananas, papayas, coconuts, citrus and pineapples available for sale. The more exotic Hawaii fruit varieties are in season at various times but most of the exotic varieties are available late spring all the way to fall time frame and harvested just once yearly for short windows of coming into season.
The most popular times to sample more fruits tend to be closer to summer-time when the various fruits from Asia, Latin America and other exotic areas tend to come in the market from June to August timeframe when you’ll see a bumper crop of different fruits available in the markets and fruit stands around the islands.
When most tropical fruit are in season in Hawaii like mangoes, lilikoi, rambutan and lychee, you should go out and try as much of these exotic fruits that are fresh and truly delicious. Also, you’ll be supporting a local farmer or vendors at the farmers market or road side stand when you are buying this fresh and locally grown. When visiting the islands, it’s easy to find a variety of fresh fruit grown locally and offered in grocery stores, farmers markets, roadside stands or even growing wild along the side of the road if you care to climb and harvest them yourself. Finding some tropical fruit in season and trying something you are not familiar with is a fun and a delicious experience while visiting the islands and getting something fresh from a local source.
Try all these tropical fruits from Hawaii
So many Hawaiian Bananas to choose from on the islands
Did you know that there are over 70 different varieties of bananas grown in Hawaii and popular hawaii fruit found on the islands? Of all the Tropical fruit from Hawaii, bananas are year round crops grown in Hawaii and they grow well in the lush and wet zones throughout the state. Eaten raw or cooked, bananas are packed with vitamins B6, potassium and fiber. Here’s a bit of trivia, did you know that bananas are not trees but really part of the herb family from the genus Musa?
Ever try some of the smaller but yet flavorful Hawaiian bananas called apple bananas or manzano, these bananas are usually half the size and fatter than the Williams variety that is more common around the world. The apple bananas here are sweeter and delicious raw or even cooked into a dessert or savory dish. The popular apple bananas are the mostly widely grown banana type grown on the islands and typically found in all the markets, fruit stands and grocery stores around Hawaii.
So what do apple bananas taste like?
Hawaiian tropical fruit – Lychee
A very popular tropical fruit from Hawaii, Lychee has a relatively short fruit season and when it happens, everyone seems to have lychee fruit to give away or sell very cheap. Harvest season in Hawaii typically happens in May to June timeframe. When the fruit is ripe and bright red, it is relatively easy to pull apart the leathery and thorny skin. Left for more than a few days and the skin gets tougher and harder to peel. Flavor is sweet, juicy with fruity taste to the translucent skin. Get them while they are in season and you can practically eat the whole bag in one sitting.
Have you tried lychee fruit, check them out
Hawaiian tropical fruit – Mangoes
When this is in season, mangoes grown in Hawaii are oh so delicious and sweet and one of the favorite tropical fruit from Hawaii. With over 60 different varieties grown on the islands, it’s a favorite tropical fruit to eat when there’s a lot of places to purchase or even harvest the mangoes yourself. Mangoes are bursting with protective nutrients and vitamins, the content depends upon the variety and maturity of the fruit. When the mango is green the amount of vitamin C is higher, as it ripens the amount of beta carotene (vitamin A) increases. June through October is when mango season occurs in Hawaii, it’s a nice long harvest season so you you’ll have some time to eat a lot of locally grown mangoes during the harvest season.
They take mangoes seriously here, here’s a fun mango taste test below
Fresh pineapples from Hawaii
Pineapples are grown mostly in small farm lots and sold in farmers markets when they are nice and fresh. There are two types of delicious pineapples from Hawaii, yellow and white. We all know how sweet the yellow pineapples are through the Dole pineapple brand, but have you tried the really sweet white pineapples from Hawaii?
They are highly perishable and have a short shelf life which makes it difficult to ship so it’s rare to find white pineapples outside of Hawaii. If you spot them at the local farmers market or roadside stand, make sure you buy one, they are simply delicious and super sweet when ripe. From cutting the tops and planting to flowering and fruit it takes about two and a half years to bear fruit. Grown in every backyard in Hawaii, it’s one of those plants that are so easy, anyone can grow their own pineapples with almost no care or maintenance to growing the plant.
Check out these delicious white pineapples grown in Hawaii below
Hawaiian tropical fruit – Papayas
Papayas seem to grow so easy in Hawaii, you can see them everywhere, even growing wild on the side of the road. Papayas are some of the most nutritious tropical fruits and are loaded with nutrients including, vitamins A, C, E and K, anti-oxidants and calcium, beta carotene, lutein, magnesium and many healthy minerals. This delicious fruit was called ‘Fruit of the angles’ by Christopher Columbus because of its health benefits to preventing colds and flu, helping in digestion, lung and eye disorders and even preventing heart disease. To pick ripe papayas, look for skin that is turning from green to yellow with some give on the flesh but not too soft, you can also pick them a little firmer and place them somewhere cool until they ripen.
Hawaiian tropical fruit – Rambutan
A very popular exotic fruit grown in Hawaii that doesn’t last very long at the local farmers market or a neighbors fruiting tree. These colorful and hairy looking fruits are easy to open by just pulling apart the skin from the middle and then eating the white flesh from the large seed inside. Look for rambutan that are brightly colored from orange to red and avoid those that are starting to brown. Rambutan are flavorful and packed with vitamin C, manganese along with calcium, iron, potassium and other healthy minerals.
Rambutans are delicious in Hawaii
There’s nothing like having fresh coconuts on the islands including drinking the coconut water and savoring the delicious white flesh of the coconut meat. Coconut water and the meat of the coconut are both delicious and filled with anti-oxidants, vitamins C, B and E and rich in potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Coconut milk, the creamy milk made from squeezing the meat is also popular as a drink or served in mixed drinks or used as an ingredient for cooking and baking purposes.
Dragon fruit is a colorful fruit and quite nutritious, with a sweet tasting fruit with a combination of kiwi and pear flavor. When the dragon fruit is ripe, it’s both sweet and crunchy. The fruit is filled with anti-oxidants and fiber and has lots of vitamin C, phosphorus and calcium in each serving. To pick a ripe dragon fruit just look for bright red colors and no browning spots on the fruit, press the flesh for a little give just like a kiwi and you should find a nice one to eat.
Touring a dragon fruit farm below
- Jack fruit at the farmers market
When it is ripe, jackfruit can look menacing and heavy, in fact they can easily weight in at over five pounds or more in certain varieties. The fleshly meat covers the seeds buried inside which are also edible when it is boiled. The white fruit tastes like a combination of pineapple and lychee fruit when it’s mature. Jackfruit can also be cooked in a green state like a vegetable and is used as a meat replacement in many asian vegetarian curries.
Here’s a fun video on picking Jackfruit below
Surinam cherries are called many names including, Pitanga, Brazilian or Cayenne cherry and they have a cherry-like taste ranging from sweet to very sour. The red or black color fruit tends to be sweeter and the yellow or orange-colored fruit is usually sour. These cherries are eaten raw or made typically into jams or jellies. The fruit is also packed with vitamins A and C and is a good anti-inflammatory, relieves hypertension and stomach pain.
More about Surinam Cherry below
Considered the Queen of tropical fruits in Asia, mangosteen originates from southeast Asia and is relatively new to Hawaii. If you can find some mangosteen for sale at local farmers markets usually from July to September time frame, you should try them because harvests are fairly limited and the fruit is delicious. White, juicy segments (think like an orange) in a thick purple skin, the fruit tastes like a combination peach, mango and lychee. The fruit is high in antioxidents and when combined with the skin and other juices, it is marketed as a powerful drink and cancer fighting properties.
Here’s what Mangosteens taste like and how to open them
A strange looking fruit with bumpy yellow to black skin, rollinia is ripe when the skin starts to just turn black and is getting soft. With white colored flesh and marble sized seeds, the fruit taste similar to cherimoya and custard apples. Rollinia fruit has a relatively short shelf life, so when it starts to ripen, it must be eaten quickly for its soft and sweet fruit.
Check out the ugly Hawaiian Rollinia fruit below
Very well loved or hated for its stinky smells, Durians are called the king of fruit in asia where this tropical fruit originates. Some consider the smell fragrant while others think it is foul like sewage. Despite the smell, the creamy flesh is custard like with a vanilla overtones. You can find durian fruit during the summer season in Hawaii at farmers markets, roadside stands and specialty markets all around Hawaii.
How to open and eat a Durian fruit instructions below
Chico fruit – Sapodilla/Sapote
A soft, creamy and easy to digest fruit, the sugary pulp is made with simple sugars of fructose and sucrose. Fresh Sapote has fantastic nutrients that includes: powerful anti oxidants, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and filled with vitamin A, B and C and other micro nutrients. Eat fruit when it is soft to the touch and the flesh is bright pink to reddish colors.
The longan fruit along with lychees are very popular fruit but have a short shelf life in Hawaii. So when they come into season on the islands, they usually get eaten up quickly. The taste of longan fruit is jelly like, succulent in consistency with a tart to sweet taste like lychee. but the longan fruit are usually smaller and have a dry taste compared to lychees, which are wet and messy. The longan fruit in Chinese is called the dragons eye – when it’s peeled it resembles a huge eye with the black seed resembling the center eyeball.
Trying Longan fruit and opening them
A few more tropical fruits from Hawaii
Here’s a photo sampling of some of some other favorite tropical fruits that are found seasonally at most farmers markets in Hawaii.
One of the most exotic fruits in Hawaii is the Soursop. Soursops are very strange and prickly fruit that are usually about 6 inches up to almost a foot for a really large fruit. Originating from Central and South America, the fruit is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins and is supposed to be a cancer preventative fruit, although it has not been extensively tested for being a cancer cure. It is very popular in nectar, fruit drinks and smoothies.
Here’s a soursop tasting demo below
Starfruit grow very well in Hawaii and bloom and fruit almost year round depending on the location and soil conditions. Also known as Carambola in many Southeast Asian countries, starfruit is a native to many of these countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Malayasia. The fruit has distinctive ridges that when sliced resemble a star shape and tastes like grapes with a citrus and apple overtone. They are used mostly eating raw, as cooking ingredient like a stir fry and as a juice or nectar.
Here’s an easy and basic way to eat star fruit below
Avocado trees seem to grow anywhere in Hawaii and bumper crops make is easy to almost get the fruit for free or for the asking. There so many different varieties of avocado fruit grown in Hawaii. The fruit is nutritious and full of monounsaturated fats and nutrient rich with over 20 different vitamins and minerals and is a high anti-oxidant food.
Passion fruit or lilikoi
An unusual tropical Hawaiian fruit that is used mostly for the juice and for a variety of ingredients. Grown on vines and a favorite fruit for locals to use in jams, drinks and the sauce used in a variety of other finished goods. Passion fruit is golf ball sized and tarty to slightly sweet citrus, lemon and pineapple flavors. Passion fruit boosts the immune system and reduces blood pressure, is rich in vitamin A, helps to aid in digestion, prevent cancer and improves eyesight and helps to prevent premature aging.
Lilikoi eating is very popular, here’s some interesting facts and how to
Cacao pods and fruit
Fresh cacao pods
Fresh cacao is that Hawaiian tropical fruit that is flavorful and has a nice white meaty flesh that has a nice flavor combination of pineapple, mango and citrus. Unfortunately, the fruit is rarely sold unless it is available whole at farmers markets or roadside stands throughout Hawaii.
Some farms actually dry the pods and use the fruit into a juice or even a fermented drink. The seed pods are harvested and dry roasted to get the nuts ready to be developed into a process in creating cacao from the seeds.
Here’s how to sample and eat cacao fruit below
Hawaiian native raspberry
Conclusion on tasting tropical Hawaiian fruits from the islands
These are most of the Tropical fruit from Hawaii that can be found for sale across Hawaii at different harvest cycles during the year. You can find many of these for sale at roadside stands, farmers markets or even some of the larger grocery chain outlets on each islands. There are many exotic fruits grown all around Hawaii but not all are featured here because they are not commercially viable or rarely available and sold to the public. Have you tried any other tropical fruits grown in Hawaii and how did it taste to you? Please share with us in the comment section below.
THanks for visiting and if you enjoyed the post, please do share it with any of the social media channels below.
Pin this for later
If you enjoyed this post, please check out my other posts on farmers markets and tropical fruits below.
Hawaiian food, local potluck style
Big Island locally grown foods
7 eco friendly things you didn’t know about Hawaii
Exotic and unusual fruits from around the world
Have you tried all these Tropical fruit from Hawaii?
Thanks for checking out this post, hopefully this has give you an idea about when the best tropical fruits are in season on the islands.
Which ones where your favorite – please share those in the comments below.
Thanks for visiting today and checking out the post on Tropical fruit from Hawaii, please consider subscribing to the blog below – also please do share the post with any of the social media buttons all around the post. Thank you for visiting.
If you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter
My family was stationed on Oahu for three years when I was a child. We had a banana tree in our backyard so we ate lots of them, but I also loved mangoes. My mother used to say she wished she had a dollar for every mango she peeled for me. But my all time favorite fruit was guavas. A neighbor had a tree that I raided all the time! I’ve also had the star fruit. We are planning a trip to Hawaii next year and I’m very interested in trying the Durian. It sounds delicious.
Sounds like wonderful memories, hope you get to try out all of your favorites when you visit again.
Just returned from hawaii……did certainly enjoy markets with fresh banana,pineapple, dragon fruit ,papaya and tapioca in coconut milk …..all delicious
I’ve search the web, but I’ve yet ban able to find a fruit that we, as kids in Honolulu, used to eat. It is pronounced “Vee” but it may be spelled “Wi”. The skin was green or yellow depending on the ripeless, and the fruit itself was rather “stringy”. Can you help me?
“Wi – Pronounced “vee,” the wi tree produces a fruit similar to the mango with some claiming it tastes like a combination of a mango and an apple. In other parts of the word, it is called an ambarella and is said to be native to French Polynesia.
“Some say wi is best eaten raw while the fruit still firm and, at this stage, can produce a refreshing juice. As in the case of the mango, the wi fruit can be made into jelly, relishes or used for flavoring sauces, soups and stews. It is reportedly a good source of iron.”
Hi Noel. Thx for the great post. I’ve most of these fruit, but a few are definitely new to me. I love the many flavours of Hawaii.
I have tried some of these unusual fruits but not all. I have seen most of them in the local store. I will try some of them (based on your taste analysis).
Which island have more tropicanal fruits and in what month will be a good season.
You can get a better variety on the Big Island because there are more smaller/specialty growers in this agriculture based county. Summer season typically offers the best variety of tropical fruits on all the islands.
This all looks so delicious. We will be there this week, so this is perfect! I’m most excited about the white pineapple and the mangoes that are hopfully still in season. It will be a treat to try so many new things with the kids while we’re there.
Thanks for writing it up!
My family and I are looking forward to all of the fruit Hawaii has to offer. Thanks for sharing!
Fruit looks so good, want to eat em!
Fruits look so good!
Hey. I found your blog using yahoo. It is an quite well prepared write-up. I am going to you should definitely take a note of them and come to understand extra of your respective helpful tips. Wanted publish. I’ll certainly comeback.
Of the list, there are only two we don’t have here – dragon fruit and rambutan.
And we call longan guinep. Guinep’s in season now. Vendors are everywhere. Had some a few weeks ago, delicious!
These were not only terrific photos but what a great learning lesson! I’ve been to Hawaii a few times and even got married there. But, I regret having never tried an apple banana because I want one now! Thank you Noel! 🙂
What a feast of fruits! You are so lucky there in paradise.I think it’s really cool how the papayas grow. I haven’t tried some of these, so perhaps I ought to get back to Hawaii and do just that.
Definitely Cathy, save some seeds and see if you can grow them yourself indoors, the plant is quite attractive to grow indoors.
I’ve never had the opportunity to try one, but I’ve always thought the dragonfly fruit is so pretty, a work of art. Lovely photos!
I didn’t think I liked pineapple until we went to Hawaii a couple years ago and I tasted truly fresh pineapple for the first time. I became an instant pineapple addict!!
yes it is so much different from the source and really amazingly good, thanks for connecting.
Great photos, I love Hawaii and I love fruits, dragon fruit & pineapple are my favorites.
Ah, you had me oogling at the fruits through your photos 😉 Except for the suriname cherry, we have lots of these fruits in my country.
Really interesting fruits, many of them new-to-me. Oddly, we just tasted rambutan in Mexico last week. What a delicious fruit!
What great photos! I’ve never seen some of these fruits before. The most astounding one was the rambutan.
I can vouch for the locally grown pineapples. It’s too bad that I hate bananas—-all 70 varieties. Your photo of the papaya tree against the cobalt blue sky is really striking.
Wonderful pictures: fruits looks like work of art from nature.
Loved the photos. I had no idea these fruits existed!
Great pictures I feel like to be there and eat them, most of these fruits I know them, please check my site for amazing links but now I need your help to sign my petition and forward it to as many people as possible, thank you,
This was a fascinating and beautiful photostory. Loved it!
As always, a beautiful photo essay. Have a wonderful weekend. Aloha, Stephanie
Thanks for commenting and have a great weekend also in paradise!