It's unusual to spend a day in Hawaii without tasting the state's most famous fruit. Pineapple appears in all forms -- as a garnish in the ubiquitous mai tais, chopped into a salsa used for fish tacos, or sliced and placed atop a burger. Hotel minibars are stocked with pineapple juice, and the flavor is one of the most popular options for those enjoying cooling shave ice. But a new wave of chefs and mixologists are turning pineapple on its head and causing locals and visitors alike to rethink the sweet yellow treat. In the gallery below, take a look at some of the most innovative, inventive uses of Hawaiian pineapple throughout the state.
Located on Anaehoomalu Bay in the scenic Waikoloa Beach Resort, Lava Lava Beach Club’s open-air restaurant and bar is situated right on the beach. The pineapple fried rice bowl is attractively served in a half-pineapple, producing an island-style feel best appreciated during sunset.
Visitors to Maui’s premier luxury resort make a point of checking out the weekly Market Night at DUO, where a Hawaiian Reuben with pineapple kimchi, fried pickles and Maui onion dip is offered. Maui Gold pineapple is used to create a pineapple kimchi instead of the Reuben’s traditional sauerkraut.
As the flagship restaurant of Oahu’s most decorated luxury resort, La Mer is renowned for its upscale, gourmet fare. Featuring delicate cuts of fresh seafood, the Salade de Fruit de Mer springs to life thanks to a fennel and pineapple vinaigrette.
Hotel Wailea's guests relax by the pool with tropical, all-natural cocktails. The Piña de Pele (Cazadores Silver Tequila, fresh lime juice and Maui Gold pineapple juice) places a spicy spin on a traditional pineapple cocktail by using fresh jalapeño syrup. Before pouring, mixologists dip the rim of the glass in a small plate of honey and then into a mixture of red clay and pink Himalayan sea salt.