Hawaii Fruit Facts

Hawaii’s tropical fruit growers are unmatched in the world in the diversity of their crops and the quality of their produce. They select only premium varieties of Longan, Rambutan, and Lychee to plant in Hawaii’s ideal soil and climate. By providing meticulous care and maintaining the strictest quality control, our growers ensure the production of the highest quality fruit—sweet and flavorful with excellent shelf life. 

dancing-rambutanHawaii Rambutan Available: September through March

• The Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), also known as “hairy lychee”, is a fruit native to Southeast Asia. The Malay word “rambut” means “hairy.” In Hawaii it is sometimes referred to as the “Hula Berry” when the top half of the skin is removed, the bottom half resembles a “hula skirt.”
• A Rambutan is about the size and shape of a small egg, weighing approximately 35 grams, with red skin adorned with soft spinterns.
• It peels easily, exposing a sweet, delicious, opaque, white flesh with a single seed inside.
• There are 12-16 fruit per pound.
• The taste is refreshingly sweet and juicy.
• Several varieties are grown in Hawaii, extending the season to about six months.
• Look for fresh Hawaii-grown Rambutan in Asian and other specialty markets from September to March. 

Uses & Preparation 

• Rambutans are delicious eaten fresh; just peel and pop one into your mouth.
• Eat fresh; serve as a snack or fresh fruit serving.
• Can be arranged in a fruit platter; cut top half of skin off to reveal the fruit, and use the decorative bottom half of the skin as the holder.
• Arrange with other fruits or as a garnish or in a fruit salad.
• Rambutan may be refrigerated in a breathable bag for up to 10 days. Blemishes occur the more the fruit is handled.


longan-on-plateHawaii Longan Available: All year 

• The longan (Euphoria longana), also known as “dragon eye”, is a fruit native to Southern China. The Vietnamese word “long nhan” means “dragon’s eye.”
•  Longan is a relative of the Lychee and Rambutan and is considered the most healthful and medicinal fruits of this family.
• The Longan fruit is larger than a cherry with a thin, cinnamon-colored shell that peels easily, translucent white flesh, and a single black seed.
• The taste is similar to the Lychee (or litchi nut) but sweeter and aromatic.
• The fragrant flavor is delicate and the sweetest of these fruits. 
• Hawaii-grown Longan fruit can be found in Asian markets during most of the year.
• There are 35-40 fruit per pound. 

Uses & Preparation 
• Eat fresh; serve as a snack or a delicious fruit serving.
• Longans are delightful eaten fresh; just peel and pop one into your mouth. 
• Longans can be peeled and seeded, made into a syrup or sorbet, or simply dried.
• Longans make wonderful additions to desserts and exotic fruit cocktails.
• Longans may be refrigerated in a breathable bag for up to three weeks or frozen in their skins in a sealed container.

 

lycheeHawaii Lychee  Available: May through August

• Lychee or litchi nut (Litchi chinensis) is native to the lowlands of Southern China.
• It is a relative of Longan and Rambutan.
• Hawaii-grown Lychee is one to two inches in diameter with a thin, easy to peel, red skin, translucent white flesh and a single brown seed.
• Hawaii Kaimana Lychee is a large fruited variety with a small seed and is exceptionally delicious.
• The bite-size fruit is juicy, fragrant, and sweet.
• Fresh Hawaii-grown Lychee can be found in Asian markets and select grocers from May through August.
• There are approximately 20 fruit per pound.  

Uses & Preparation 
• Lychee is delicious eaten fresh—just peel and pop one into your mouth.
• They may be refrigerated in plastic bags for up to three weeks.
• The skin will brown and become brittle if exposed to air, but the fruit stays fresh and protected in its skin. 
• Frozen Lychees are delightful and taste like a fine sorbet.  Keep enclosed in a bag.
• Lychee lends itself easily to dessert recipes and exotic fruit cocktails.