Immediately after landing in Maui, we grabbed our luggage and headed to Hali’imaile. Where? Why? Hali’imaile is the only place in the United States where you can take a tour of a working pineapple plantation, besides breakfast this morning had eluded me. Noshing on pineapple sounded good, but at this point so did the crumbled bag of honey roasted peanuts at the bottom of my carry on.
We arrived at our meeting spot, Hali’imaile General Store, forty-five minutes early.
Haliimaile General Store, which is nestled amongst the pineapple fields, features regional Hawaiian cuisine and though my mind was telling me to hold off to eat pineapple, my belly was saying “feed-me-now”. That damn stomach can be pretty persuasive.
We were the first ones in the restaurant and when I told the server we were going on the pineapple tour, she said they don’t recommend trying to rush a meal there beforehand because the eatery is an experience in itself. I’m a bad listener, so I ordered the Chinese chicken salad ($14) with baby corn, mango, curried coconut, cashews. I enjoyed my meal immensely and quickly.
Just next door our chariot awaited. There’s nothing like discreet transportation.
About a dozen of us boarded the Maui Gold Tour bus and started our adventure at Hali’imaile Pineapple Plantation.
The trek began along Pineapple Row Road. That is not the real name of the road, I made it up. I am very creative.
The planters were out in the field today, giving life to a whopping 31,000 plants per acre. Just watching them made my back hurt.
The fruit was also being picked, using a seamless system. It takes 18 months to grow a pineapple and only one day to pick 75 tons.
The pineapple got its name because it looks like a pine cone and tastes like an apple.
Time to sample and see for myself.
Our guide proceeded to pluck, cut and feed us the bounty at different levels of ripeness. This WILL NOT taste like any pineapple you have ever purchased at the local grocery store. It was sweet, juicy and tasted like a pina colada…and I didn’t want to sampling to stop.
My hands were sticky and sweet juice was dripping from my chin, but I still held out my palm for another piece.
We did manage to stop gorging for 30 seconds to take this touristy photo. But, for the record, pineapple thoughts invaded my mind for every second.
Included in our $65, we each got to take a pineapple home to enjoy later. The instructions were to twist the crown off, don’t cut it and put it upside down in the refrigerator so the juices distribute. Then plant the crown to sprout a new growth.
Maybe I can grow my own Maui pineapple?
If there is such a thing as eating too much pineapple, I have encountered it. Pineapple gluttony.
Have you ever been to a pineapple plantation?
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