Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

What is lilikoi and how do you eat it?

cut lilikoiHave you seen lilikoi at a local farmer’s market? They come in different colors, yellow, red and purple, and are a type of passion fruit. They grow on a vine.

You want to select lilikoi that look shriveled and have some give when you squeeze them. In fact, the more shriveled they are, the sweeter they will be. The lilikoi in this picture look beautiful, but are very sour. Ideally they should sit out on the counter for a few days to shrivel. With this fruit the uglier the better! But beware, leaving fruit on the counter can attract ants.

How do you eat them?

  • slice them in half and scoop out the seeds and juice with a spoon. The seeds are edible, just a little crunchy.
  • strain the seeds out and drink the juice – there isn’t much juice to be had, you’ll need a lot of lilikoi.
  • cut a papaya lengthwise, scoop out the papaya seeds, then fill the cavity with lilikoi seeds/juice. It gives your papaya some extra zip!
  • enjoy it in gelato (one of my favorites), cheese cake, alcoholic drinks, lilikoi butter etc.

One of my neighbors introduced me to pineapple lilikoi fruit salad. This really zips up your pineapple… It’s really easy, cut up your pineapple and then add the seeds/juice of a lilikoi or two. You may need to hide the seeds to get the kids to eat it. But the result is amazing. You would think tart lilikoi and tangy pineapple would result in more tartness, but the two flavors kind of mellow each other out. It really is a great flavor!

lilikoi and pineapple

lilikoi pineapple salad
pineapple with one lilikoi mixed in

Have you ever wondered how to cut a pineapple? Here are the instructions from the Maui Gold pineapple label. These work really well. Maui Gold pineapples are grown right here on Maui!

Maui Gold pineapple label