7 Ways to Savor Lilikoi this Passion Fruit Season in Hawaii

As lilikoi season begins, check out these local spots that are doing the sweet-yet-tart fruit justice.
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If you’ve been to the Islands before, there’s a good chance you’ve tried lilikoi, or passion fruit. We’re the teensiest bit obsessed with the tangy globular fruit—you can find it in syrups atop pancakes, in margaritas and even whisked into salad dressings.

While we settle for jarred purées or imported passion fruit when needed, the wait for local lilikoi is finally over. It’s passion fruit season in the Islands!

Although the purple passion fruit carries a Hawaiian name (lilikoi), passion fruit vines first came to Hawaii from Australia around 1880. However, the purple fruit itself originates from Brazil. The yellow variety of passion fruit is the variety believed to be native to Australia; it didn’t arrive in Hawaii until 1923.

While lilikoi vines were once rampant across the Islands, it can now be trickier to find the fruit. If you’re looking to try it fresh, some of the best places to visit are local farmers markets, where you can scoop the seeds straight from the farm-fresh fruit. Or you can spoon it over ice cream. Or turn it into a vinaigrette. Like we said, the options are endless.

As we ease into lilikoi season (roughly from July to December), here are some spots where you can sample the versatility of this beloved—and photogenic—fruit.

Valley Isle Kombucha, Maui

Made in small batches on Maui, Valley Isle Kombucha brews mango-steeped black tea with Maui lilikoi, lavender, spearmint and lemongrass in its Local Lilikoi kombucha for a flavorful and refreshing boost to your day. Its locally sourced flavors cycle with the seasons, so be sure to try lilikoi before it disappears from shelves at Whole Foods, Safeway and other locations. Found at many grocery stores and at Alchemy Maui, Valley Isle Kombucha’s tasting room, 157 Kupuohi St., Lahaina. (808) 495-8886, valleyislekombucha.com

Julia’s Banana Bread, Maui

Photo: Courtesy of Julie’s Banana Bread

Although this roadside treehouse may be known for its delicious banana bread, there’s another reason why you should add this spot to your must-tries on Maui: the lilikoi butter. Bring it home to enjoy atop crackers or toast or spread it on some fresh banana bread. Or enjoy it by the spoonful. We won’t tell. 7465 Kahekili Highway (mile marker 13), Kahakuloa; or near Nakalele Blowhole; juliasbananabread.com

Kula Shave Ice, Hawaii Island


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Made with fresh local fruit, one of Kula Shave Ice’s summer flavors (which change depending on local fruit availability and seasons) is The Local, lychee and lilikoi ice finished with a dollop of haupia cream. Free from corn syrup and artificial flavors, this shave ice is the perfect way to savor Hawaii’s beloved passion fruit. 57 Mamo St., Hilo, (808) 464-4821, kulashaveice.com

Lanai Wai Juice Truck, Lanai

A local favorite hidden in Dole Park, this green truck serves up the freshest produce in the form of smoothie bowls, smoothies and juices. On top of these mouthwatering finds, the truck also sells homemade lilikoi salad dressing, the perfect way to make eating your greens fun. Dole Park, Lanai City, Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon, find the truck on Instagram.

Kahuku Farms, Oahu

There’s no shortage of ways to eat fresh lilikoi at Kahuku Farms—from butter, jelly, syrup, sorbet, butter mochi, fresh farm coolers and even lilikoi balsamic dressing. Kick back and enjoy the spread at the farm’s café after taking the Grand Tour, where you can see exactly where your delicious fruit and veggies are coming from. 56-800 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, (808) 293-8159, kahukufarms.com

Wicked Hawaii Honey Slush, Oahu

A combination of local fruits and honey, Wicked Hawaii Honey Slush is the perfect guilt-free way to savor lilikoi this summer. Featured at markets across the island, cool off with a scoop (or two!) of the lilikoi slush for a tangy treat during your farmers market explorations. Various farmers markets, wickedhislushie.com

Ohana Jam, Oahu


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Found at Kakaako Farmers Market, this jam stand takes local fruit—occasionally from neighbors’ donations or from the wild mountains—and transforms it into mouthwatering marmalades, jellies, spreads and butters. Its treatment of lilikoi is no different—you can savor luscious lilikoi butter or pineapple lilikoi jam on anything and everything. Found at Kakaako Farmers Market, Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon, ohanajam.com

If you’re looking for your lilikoi fix and you’re not in the Islands, check out Kailua-Kona’s Da Vine Foods or Kauai’s Aunty Lilikoi Passion Fruit Products to order passion fruit goods that can be shipped straight to your door.

Categories: Food, Restaurants