Please note: Maui Pineapple Company has closed and is now Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company.
Maui Pineapple Plantation Tours Kapalua
Learn about the "Crowned Fruit": An Authentic Plantation Experienceby Alain Gayot
Known as the "King of Fruits" through its crown of leaves, the pineapple is also renowned as the ultimate tropical fruit, holding both fantastic flavor and historical significance. The yellow meat of the pineapple is prized for its sweetness mixed with tart undertones. It is the quintessential tropic treat. Countless recipes use it as an important ingredient— in relishes, sorbets, kabobs or salads. And it holds a place of importance in history as well. Among native Caribbean tribes, the fruit was hung outside the entrances of dwelling as a symbol of hospitality and friendship. In England and Spain, the motif was used in carvings and as a decorative design.
The pineapple has been big business since its first harvest hundreds of years ago, and a century-old Maui-based company is working hard to make sure the tradition and heritage of the succulent fruit are not compromised. Established in 1903, Maui Pineapple Company (MPC), a subsidiary of Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc., is the only remaining pineapple operation that has stayed on the island—Dole and Del Monte have since gone elsewhere. The corporation owns approximately 25,000 acres on Maui, of which 6,000 are used exclusively for pineapple cultivation.
The sun-filled days, breezy nights and fertile volcanic soil have allowed MPC to create a signature fruit, the Maui Gold. The hybrid thrives in the designated environment and has been very successful. The Gold is sweeter than most other pineapples (namely Champaka) and is less acidic. Around 2.5 million boxes were sold in the last year, with roughly 80 percent going to the Mainland and about 85 percent of that amount going to Southern California. Since MPC values delivering a fresh product, anyone in the U.S. can order Maui Gold pineapple online (www.mauipineapple.com) and it will be sent by FedEx within 24 hours of being picked. For a unique tropical gift, the pineapple can also be shipped in a variety of decorative boxes. Maui Gold pineapples are staples at popular chains such as Whole Foods and Costco, and are delivered to many local restaurants in Hawaii.
Priding itself on offering quality fruit and managing holistic communities that aim to build a sustainable future for Maui, MPC draws its values from three traditional Hawaiian concepts: Ho’ohanohano, Po’okela and Malama’aina. The concepts call for MPC to see itself as a member of Maui’s community, bring the best services to the marketplace and maintain agricultural accountability.
On your next trip to Maui, we highly recommend taking a plantation tour at Maui Pineapple Company. There is no better place to learn about the cultivation of the revered fruit. The Express tour (Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., $40 per person) gives you a snapshot of the pineapple farm, lets you enjoy a pineapple tasting and allows each person to take home a pineapple for future enjoyment.