Maui 2: Exotic Fruit Tales

Leave it us to find a farm through a farmer's market, and then drive around the backside of the mountain to find it. But hey-ho, was it worth it. One of the best parts of the island were my morning papaya acai bowls, the deep green juices, and this: the sugary mangos and funky tastes of this exotic farm. Welcome to Ono Organic Fruit Farm.

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We arrived late to our tour, but the spread was still out for us. We started with four varieties of bananas, including the Apple Banana, and my favorite, the Williams Banana. And then it went on. Papayas. Lilikoi (passionfruit). Tangelos.Many fruits I can't pronounce. Coffee from their beans. Homemade jams. It was crazy to try so many new foods all at once.

I was actually on the edge of my seat.

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Let me introduce you to some new friends.

This is the citrus beauty of the day, a pomelo.

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Here's lychee and dragonfruit, which also came in magenta.

And mangos you know, but not these. These aren't stringy. These are $12 monstrosities that taste like golden candy.

We ate fruit for over an hour straight, and learned everything from the history of the farm to the nutritional benefits of each variety to how to cut open spiky fruit. And then we went picking. This is organic cacao and jackfruit (no idea why I'm holding up the pineapple, but probably my general merriment over it all).

Tamarind tree and starfruit.

Bananas grow in 'hands', which are these clusters. We also learned how they're packed. Our tour guide Nick could cut three hands of bananas in one minute (it'll be a sport before you know it!)

Here are papaya and breadfruit trees.

This pineapple was just waiting for Walker to come pick him. So we took him home.

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The farm is totally off the grid (the owner even invented a world-famous technique for sun-drying coffee beans). This is the fruit 'processing' facility.

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I still can't get over how amazing it was to learn about so many fruits and drip in rainbows of colors of new foods. We even picked a fruit called a peanut butter fruit, that had no relation to peanuts, and tasted identical to peanut butter.

The fruit tour was only a taste of all the incredible meals we had in Maui. My favorite place was I'o in Lahaina, the town nearest our place. They also owned a farm and I have frequent daydreams about their carrot risotto. We also loved Lahaina Grille and found this spectacular local foods spot up on a mountain. And Walker spoiled me in the mornings by taking me for the world's most beautiful acai bowls here--layers of rich purple and tropical fruits. I won't get into the coconut candy and fresh fish and shave ice . . . Anyway, I digress.

I suppose my guava discovery sums up my general emotions about food on Maui.

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My loving in-laws braved blind curves and steep cliffs to take me to the farm, so they get extra starfruits for indulging me. Mahalo!