Hello! The Englishman and I are back after a wonderful honeymoon in Maui. We ate, drank, relaxed by the pool and ate some more. Seriously the food was SO good and I can’t wait to recreate some of my favorite dishes at home. But before I share all my delicious Hawaiian eats, I wanted to share one of the first things we did on our trip, which was go on a Maui Pineapple Tour
We drove into upcountry Maui to the town of Hali’imaile to start the tour. A small group of us piled into a van and our tour guide Steve took us through the expansive Maui Gold Pineapple Company Fields where all the magic happens.
As we drove through the fields Steve provided some history on the Maui Gold Pineapple Company since they are one of the few companies left actually growing pineapple on the Hawaiian islands. Other companies no longer grow in the area and instead grow their pineapples in South America. So for a true Hawaiian-grown pineapple, Maui Gold is what you want.
We learned that each pineapple takes approximately 18 months to grow, and the fruit will be ripe in the field for 48-72 hrs. Once the pineapple is picked, it will no longer ripen. So toss out any notions you had of purchasing a pineapple and then allowing it to ripen on the counter. Another myth debunked – pulling out a pineapple leaf won’t help you decide how ripe it is. Instead, knock on the side of the pineapple like you would a watermelon to see if it is hollow or not.
We also learned that there are 3 different grades of pineapple ripeness on the Maui Pineapple Tour. The first grade is the greenest and the most sour, the second grade is sweeter but not fully golden (this is the one that is shipped to the mainland), and the third grade is a vibrant sweet pineapple that has to be consumed within 1-2 days of picking. Usually these pineapples stay on the Hawaiian islands and are used for making pineapple vodka and wine.
Of course no tour is complete without some taste testing, so we got to taste each grade of pineapple. Steve whipped out his knife and cut up pineapples right then and there in the fields. He definitely had the slicing and dicing down!
Once we all had our fill of pineapple we drove over to the pineapple plant where we could see the pineapples being boxed up and ready to ship over to California and other states.
Maui Gold pineapples only go to a variety of distributors in California with one of them being Costco. If you are a Costco member, definitely pop into your local store and check to see if they have any Maui Golds in-house. Since these pineapples are sweeter than the other ones that are shipped over, they tend to go the fastest.
We also got our own box of pineapple to take home – the Englishman and I ate our two pineapples while we were in Maui, but we also ordered 6 grade 2 Maui Golds to take back to California to share with friends and family.
I really loved going on the Maui pineapple tour – it was very informative and reaffirmed my love for the tropical fruit. I’ll definitely be on the lookout to pick up Maui Golds from now on whenever I can.