Hungry? Fruit is known scientifically as the natural human body cleanser. Of all the foods in the world we process fruit better than all other. They are the natural sweets. They keep the body regulated and taste so good and their natural sugars give the body energy.  

 

One area that can impress with its bounty of natural sweets is off the westernmost border of the United States on the islands of Hawaii. Hawaii, the 50th state, with its tropical air and warm climates, grows over 200 edible fruits. Among the many, some are more familiar to the average person such as the guava, mango, coconut and, of course, pineapple. Lesser known, but equally tasty, treats are the lychee (lee-chee), which comes in over 30 varieties, the java plum, the lilikoi, which is a variety of passion fruit with slightly tart flavor. The lilikoi grows on the ground and are the size of a baseball.  

 

Most fruits are eaten just as it is grown in its natural state. The lychee or lychee nut is commonly used to sweeten drinks and other dishes. The Hawaiian variety of the lychee is large enough so that the fruit can be opened up and its fruit can be used as a spread.  

 

There is a special variety fruit used eaten as part of Hawaiian cuisine that is common to many islanders, called the breadfruit. It is not a fruit and it is not bread. It is called this because of the soft, but meaty texture of its innards. It is often boiled in water and eaten with, perhaps, a soup made from any of the islands' large varieties of fish. There are too many types of fish in Hawaii's water to count. Some names are the skip jack tuna, the opakapaka (oh-pah-kah-pah-kah), with its highly popular flaky meat and the ono (oh-noh), which in Hawaiian means delicious. The ono is very often grilled because of its firm meat, which will hold up under the intense heat.  

 

Of all the things that you bring to Hawaii the most important is your appetite. You will taste things that liven up your taste buds. Some items will be foreign to your tongue, some will be all too familiar. If you happen to be from the mainland and long for a taste of home you can go always go to your local Hawaiian restaurant and order spam, believe it or not it is one of Hawaii's choice local favorites. Eat up.