When visiting the Big Island of Hawaii (called “Hawaii”), we really enjoyed eating fruits, vegetables and nuts grown on the island. On our first day, we drove from the hot and sunny West coast to the rainforest on the East Coast to explore. One of our destinations was the Farmer’s Market in Hilo, where we bought tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini and bananas. We should have bought more!
We also stopped at a farmer’s fruit stand near Akaka Falls, where we bought our daughter Erin a coconut so she could drink the milk inside. Here is Erin ready to enjoy her fresh drink after the farmer husked the coconut with his machete. You can also see the other fruits for sale behind her.
I admired this exotic Torch ginger at the farm stand as well. My book Hawai’i’s Floral Splendor by Angela Kepler says it is native to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and is long established in Hawai’i.
Macademia nuts are grown on plantations in Hawaii, and we could spot these fields from the air in the tropical zone. You can see the taller trees forming rectangular borders in order to block the wind, according to Rhonda, our pilot on Big Island Air. If you like macademia nuts, you will want to buy boxes of chocolate covered nuts in the grocery store and bring some home as gifts. Look for macademia nut-pineapple muffins in the bakery, too!
Saving the best for last: Hawaiian pineapple is the sweetest and most surprisingly delicious fruit! Surprising? Because the pineapple grown, harvested and eaten in Hawaii is so sweet and not the least bit tart like the fruit you are accustomed to in the continental U.S. Here is our guide Sadie slicing some up for us after we have finished our swimming and snorkeling with the wild dolphins and sea turtles off Puako on the West Coast of Hawaii. By the way, this excursion was over-the-top fun. Our family had a fantastic time. Thanks, Sadie! Whenever I look at these photos, I want to go back to Hawaii…