Journal Notes #3
Fruit and Nuts !
This Island's many diverse climates provides nicely for the needs of a wonderful variety of plants, and since their means of seeding takes the form of fruit, vegetables and nuts, Hawaii is a virtual cornucopia of luscious foods for many of us animals. We all are unsuspecting partners in the plants plan for procreation.
click here to see how they form
Bananas grow with abundance at this 1500'
elevation in Captain Cook and here the Apple Banana
is KING ! Once you taste one of these smaller, plumper, crisper and more highly
flavored beauties, you dread going back to the store variety.
Until the early 1800s in Hawaii, most banana varieties were 'kapu' - forbidden for women of Hawaii to eat, under penalty of death.
Dick has dozens of banana trees and they are prolific. It seems once a week he must cut down at least one 50 lb bunch. Even though they sell at a premium in the local markets (their life span is short), Dick prefers to give them away. Whether it is fruit, fish or at one of his famous Korean style barbecues at the shore - the Choys are a most generous people !
Nita Isherwood at her Lucky Farm B&B next door has red bananas.
It was Nita who first introduced us to the Choys, eight years ago.
The Macadamia nut tree is very common here on Hawaii. Indeed there are HUGE farms of thousands and thousands of trees. This Australian introduction grows to 30-40 feet tall. The flower is a long attractive catkin, that when pollinated produces a large cluster of nuts. There are many farms on this island growing, harvesting, shelling, roasting and packaging these popular snack nuts.
The "untended trees" around this neighborhood still produce bushels of the nuts that rot on the ground because it isn't cost effective to pick them up in such "small quantities".
We eat them raw
creamy white kernel contain up to 80% oil and 4% sugar !!
Over at Nita's, her guests sit on her deck overlooking the vast Pacific and shell the nuts using a locally crafted machine. Here at Dick's we use an antique rusted sledge hammer head he found - it works.
Here is a sequence showing how a "Mac nut" is shelled.
The Choy's have a Star Fruit tree. It is a prolific producer ! Indeed when we first arrived it was "loaded" (as we say back in Maine). This is a fleeting fruit, as it were, for now, they are no more.
We enjoyed the delicate, slightly sweet fruit while it lasted. For a breakfast treat, it is very refreshing both in taste and looks. Alas, it produced so fast and many that most of the fruit returned to the soil to ultimately nourish it and encourage the next crop. Yet another example of the fast pace world of this evolving island !
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