When I first arrived in Kauai, my family and I drove from the airport in Lihue to Hanalei Bay, where we are staying. The views outside the window were stunning with lush mountains, taro fields alive with color and stunning ocean views. I also noticed a roadside shack, just outside Hanalei, that peaked my interest.
Just the name of the place, The Coconut Experience, had my mind aglow imaging myself chewing on fresh coconut meat and sipping refreshing coconut water from a straw.
So of course, I came back to capture the coconut experience for myself. And I found much more than I imagined.
I was able to get my coconut water.
And once I was finished the water, I devoured the meat. This one was a young coconut so the meat had more of a jello texture – easy to scoop out with my plastic spoon.
I also bought some freshly made, dairy-free, coconut ice cream to take home for dessert. We got a pint of one laced with toasted coconut flakes and another with a cherry swirl. They were divine.
At the stand were all manor of tropical fruit. These were my favorites:
These were Liliko’i (Passion Fruit). To eat them, you bite or cut off the top. Then just squirt the contents into your mouth. It is slimy, seedy, sweet and sour all at ones. And it is delicious.
These are called Longan. Their nickname is Dragon Eyes. Once you break through the outer shell you’ll find a fruit inside that resembles a lychee in texture and shape but tastes of melon. They are called dragon eyes because you can see the green pit through the transparent flesh.
And these are White Sapote. Once ripe they are very soft and fall apart easily. And they are delicious. Their texture is like custard and their taste is sweet – but I can’t quite think of any fruit to compare them to.
The Coconut Experience is located on Hwy 56 just East of Hanalei Bay in Kilauea. If you are in the area, I definitely recommend a stop here.