Kauai Exotic Fruit 3

Starfruit

This is the final post about Kauai Exotic Fruit…for now.   Perhaps later on I will post another when enough people have contacted to point out that this or that fruit was missed.  It seems there are as many varieties of Exotic fruit as …. how to end that sentence!  So here we go with Kauai Exotic Fruit 3

Pomegranate

There are not that many Pomegranate trees on Kauai, but you do see them around.

 

Pomegranite fruit

Pomegranate ~ Myth abounds

I can remember having Pomegranate as a child; it was a rare treat.   The rather ordinary looking tough skin cuts open to reveal that beautiful deep pink color with hundreds of little seeds.   You take a mouthful of seeds and suck the delicious delicate Pomegranate …. spitting the seeds out.    I remember being fascinated by the fruit mostly because of the Greek myth of Persephone and the Pomegranite.

It seems as though most fruit is healthy and Pomegranate is no exception!   It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, providing as vitamin K.     It also has tons of great minerals including copper, potassium, folate,  thiamin, vitamin B6 and calcium.  Pomegranates are rich in antoxidants which help balance inflammation in the body.

Greek myth aside, the Pomegranate is a wonderful fruit so try some if you see any around!  Pomegranate definitely qualifies as Kauai Exotic Fruit.

Rambutan

I am extremely fond of Rambutans.   After Mangosteen, I would say they are my next favorite.    The tough spiky pink skins break open to reveal wondrous white flesh around a hard pit…ahh but the flesh is delicious.   Delicate, sweet and very more-ish.    Rambutans originated in Malaysia but now proliferate across Asia, Hawaii & much of the Pacific islands.

What I had not realized until I read the following on Dr. Mercola’s site, is how good for you Rambutans are!

“The rambutan fruit is a conglomeration of vitamins and minerals, all encased in a sweet and juicy little package. Despite its small size, it actually packs a considerable amount of vitamin C (40 milligrams), which is important for helping keep your immune system healthy. It is also a good source of copper. Even though the body needs only a limited amount of it in the system, copper works together with iron in keeping your blood vessels, immune system, bones and the production of red blood cells at peak condition.

Rambutan Fruit

Rambutan ~ delicious & healthy~

Rambutan is also a good source of iron, which is why ingesting this fruit is especially useful for the maintenance and the production of red blood cells.

Other rambutan fruit benefits include:

  • Promotes healthy digestion — The high fiber content of rambutan aids in food metabolism, preventing constipation. Rambutan is also low in calories, which helps promote weight loss and restrain sudden hunger pangs.
  • Wards off pathogens — Rambutan is famous for its antiseptic properties that help the body fight off infections. The fruit also contains high amounts of antioxidants that may help kill microbes and reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Kills intestinal parasites — One study indicates that rambutan seeds have antibacterial properties, which may help eliminate parasits in your stomach.18 However, note that the seeds must be roasted or boiled before it is fit for human consumption.
  • Promotes bone formation — Rambutan’s phosphorus content is responsible for this., Phosphorus also helps in energy production and storage.
  • Helps scavenge free radicals — The rambutan rind contains a high amount of gallic acid, which functions as a free radical scavenger. This compound help may help reduce the risk of cancer and further oxidative damage.”

Wow.  Rambutans abound on Kauai during season; you will see farmers selling them on the side of the road off the back of their trucks.   Don’t miss a chance to try a Rambutan. Kauai Exotic Fruit 3 supreme!

Soursop

The Soursop comes originally from South America but is now found in Hawaii as well as other tropical climates.  The leaves of the Soursop tree are said to help heal cancer and anything that can do that must be a good thing.

Soursop Fruit

Soursop ~ Creamy fruit & Leaves help fight cancer

The has a texture rather like bananas or some people say soft coconut flesh (though I would say that depends on the age of the coco!). It’s definitely creamy and some say tastes a bit “custardy” – perhaps a tad.   Potassium as many of us know is very good for you and the Soursop has lots….which is fairly unusual, so if you need Potassium, eat Soursop!  Also, lots of Vitamin C and its contents also fight against inflammation.   The leaves of the Soursop have been and continue to be studied for their anti cancer properties.  Very powerful, unusual fruit!

Surinam Cherry

Surinam Cherry

Surinam Cherry ~ rigded & unusual

Probably the most unusal of the cherries, you might think that the Surinam Cherry doesn’t really look much like a Cherry; with its deep ridges, it is not obvious.   But a Cherry it is.     The fruit is pale to dark red in color, the darker the fruit, the more ripe it is.    So make sure you go for a darker specimen as when it is ligth colored it can taste quite sour!

I do like these interesting cherries but I have to say a good dark “red” cherry that I remember in the UK when it’s really dark…. (or rather the skin is very dark) are much sweeter.

Surinam Cherries look so beautiful though, don’t you think?    Always a healthy choice.

Starfruit

The Starfruit is native to Asia.  Just the name is exotic isn’t it?    I loved the name when I first heard, so given becuase when you cut a Starfuit in half, it reveals a star shape… perfect!    It has a delicate taste and texture; some people compare it to grapes when it’s ripe and I see that, but I find the actual taste far more delicate.    It’s packed with Magnesium & Potassium, apart from other health benefits so it’s not only yummy to eat, but as with many fruts, rather good for you!

Starfruit

Star shaped Star Fruit ~ full of goodness

I have a friend who dries them as she has a couple of trees and they really “go off” during season.   A wonderful addition to a fruit salad or with fruit for breakfast.   Lots of fun to cut with children who love the shape of the stars!   Kauai Exotic Fruit 3 would not be completely without Starfruit.

Strawberry Guava

The Strawberry Guava is similar to a regular Guava in taste except of course it looks rather like a shiny red apple with a deliberate clustered point at one end.     Some people say it has a hint of stawberry taste hence the name.

Another fruit native to South America but now found all over Hawaii to the dismay of those who label it as yet another invasive plant.   There are many of course.

It’s as healthy for you as its cousin and helps build the immune system, create healthy skin and regulate blood sugar.  Best of all it tastes great!

 

Tangelo

Ahh,   the taste of the fruit from a good Tangelo tree is absolutely divine!   Absolutely my favorite citrus fruit.   They are sweet, incredibly juicy (the juice literally runs down your chin, onto your clothes, onto the floor type of juicy) and unbelievably delicious!   That’s why although some people may view the Tangelo as sort of an orange, it definitely qualifies as Kauai Exotic Fruit 3

Tangelo

Tangelo ~ juicy & delicious

I am always in search of good Tangelos on island; some are lucky enough to have wonderful trees in their yards.   Bliss!

Of course they are also good for you!   Vitamins A, C, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium (love those minerals) and they have antoxidant properties.   That’s all terrific of course but oh my, a good juicy Tangelo is divine.    They really do exemplify what a good citrus fruit is all about and Hawaii & Kauai grow the best!

Ulu (Breadfruit)

Kauai Exotic Fruit 3 would not be complete without Ulu, or breadfruit is something of a staple in the islands.    The Hawaiians have eaten it ever since it was introduced 1000 years ago (estimates vary, but that’s the general time frame) from Java from whence it came to Polynesia.

Hawaiians used all parts of the tree: the wood was used to build hales (homes) canoes, drums and other musical instruments and the inner bark was used to make kapa (cloth).  Sap was used for waterproofing, caulking and glue for cloth.  Almost all parts of the tree have medicinal applications as with all Hawaiian plants.     Check out Eat Breadfruit for more info about this amazing fruit!

As with anything important in Hawaiian culture, there are legends attached to the Ulu, the most common being the story of Ku, the God who buried himself from which grew an abundant Ulu tree to feed his family.    Ulu has certainly provided the Hawaiian people with a food staple for many years.   A few hundred years ago, Ulu trees were everywhere; they receded perhaps due to the agriculture brought by the Western people.

Breadfruit

Ulu ~ Breadfruit, staple of Hawaii

 

I’ve lived in Hawaii for 20 years now and I have to say I’ve seen an increase in popularity of Breadfruit.    You will now see it as a staple on many menus:  Ulu Bread, Ulu muffins, Ulu veggies, Ulu ice cream…. you name it!   It’s very good for you and is a source of antioxidants, calcium, carotenoids,, iron, magnesium, niacin, omega 3, omega 6, phosphorus, potassium, protein, thiamine, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Breadfruit can be eaten instead of potatoes : fried, baked, boiled and is now used in deserts of all kinds.    The Kauai Farmacy uses the leaves in some of the medicinal teas and practitioners of La’a Lapa’au have been using the fruit for eons to help heal.Most people cook Ulu but you can eat it when it becomes very ripe… the flesh gets a bit like custard (with that kind of taste too)

Finally, for those familiar with the story of “Mutiny on the Bounty” and the infamous Captain Bligh, you may be interested to hear that the reason for his mission to Tahiti an dHawaii was to collect breadfruit….. he failed as the story goes, but it’s interesting that the British thought it valuable enough to charter such a mission.

Try some breadfruit; you may just want to take some home.

As you can see, there are so many fruits in Hawaii!    We are blessed to have such an abundance of amazing, colorful, healthy and delicious fruits to enjoy!   Try some while you are here.   For more Kauai Exotic Fruit check out Kauai Exotic Fruit 1 and Kauai Exotic Fruit 2

 

About the Author

Kauai Advisor ~ Francesca Azuremare ~ has lived on Kauai for 19 years. I feel blessed to live in such a magical, beautiful place. Over the years I have helped thousands of people find the perfect place to stay on Kauai whilst also advising on everything from places to propose to the best Na Pali boat ride. Now I'm sharing that information here. It's the Hawaiian way. Aloha!

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