Puunene Reunion 2007 Documentary

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lilikoi in Upcountry Maui -- Ambrosia!

Sometimes it takes a good neighbor to show you what's in your own back yard!

Casey came over the other morning with a rebag in his hand.

Is it okay if I pick the lilikoi in the back yard?

"Lilikoi? Back yard?" (incredulous look)

"Yeah, they're growing over the fence from my yard."

It took me only a few seconds to recover.  "Yeah, sure, just as long as I can have some too."

Lilikoi vine growing over citrus tree, w/ shoot reaching for the sky
Photo by Jordan Moore

Lilikoi vines were gold in Hamakuapoko, where I grew up -- second only to mangoes (platinum).

And what was the best way to eat the fruit? Why, straight out of their container, of course. Crooked finger separating the seeds and pulp from the white flesh and s-l-u-u-r-p -- two or three times, down the hatch, seeds and all. Mm-mm, a refreshing snack while out playing (no I didn't know then about how good lilikoi is for you).

Nowadays, you can buy lilikoi things on Maui, POG being the most commonly found item. BTW, POG juice (passion fruit, orange, guava) started out being made by Haleakala Dairy, just up the road from where I live. Now it's put out by Meadow Gold. Our school kids love POG.

Here are three places in upcountry Maui where you can buy lilikoi-related products, online or in person:
Grandma's Maui Coffee - Grandma's Original Lilikoi Jelly

Jeff's Jams & Jellies - Lilikoi butter and jelly
(Aside: Jeff's pineapple and coconut jam is my favorite. I purchase it at Cafe 808)

Ali'i Lavender Farm - AKI Maui Lilikoi Jelly Recipe
(Any I missed? Please comment below.)

Here's a nice little video I found about lilikoi jellymaking on Maui:

Video by amaryllisofhawaii

The first paragraph of this article explains best the way I like to eat lilikoi:

Yes, I know. I've just scratched the surface about Maui's love affair with the lilikoi.  I can hear it already -- what about the lilikoi on the way to Hana? What about the vines in Waihe'e Valley (thank you to the Kahalekais for that home-made to-die-for lilikoi butter)? What about ... ? Please consider commenting below if you'd like to share your favorite Maui lilikoi story.


Turns out the lilikoi vines were high up in the tree and kind of looked like oranges from far. That's my weak excuse.

Yes, it does pay to look up (and closer) every once in a while. [S-l-u-u-r-p]



  1. Upcountry lilikoi sounds like a treasure for sure. I remember plenny when I was a little kid in Haiku, but after we moved up to Kula, not so much. Yum yum yum!

  2. I eat them in Mexico. Passiflora. Good for Blood Pressure. Good for helping you sleep. And YUMMY!!!!!


Thanks for commenting!