The Wailea Agricultural Group has heart ... literally. Founded by Michael Crowell and Lesley Hill in 1994, this Hawaiian company is the largest U.S. producer of heart of palm, a vegetable sourced from the core of the peach palm tree. Originally native to Central and South America, the peach palm produces a number of main shoots, each one boasting an edible core. The core itself is very nutritious and surprisingly low in calories. Interestingly, because of its multiple shoots, the peach palm can be harvested for its core several times over a long period of time — making it perfect for renewable agricultural practices.
Wailea Agricultural group firmly believes in agricultural sustainability, which is why heart of palm is one of the main crops grown on their 110-acre farm on the slopes of the Mauna Kea volcano on Hawaii. Once a former sugarcane plantation, the farm now also produces other highly renewable crops like tropical flowers, bay leaves, nutmeg, durians, lemons, lychees and rambutans. The farm's peach palm trees are grown year-round and harvested on demand throughout the year for their hearts. These cores are shipped to restaurants throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the U.S. mainland, and are guaranteed to remain fresh for up to two weeks with refrigeration.
1 pound lump crab meat
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced yellow bell pepper
2 medium jalapenos, thinly sliced in circles
1 small red onion, thinly sliced in circles
4 cups fresh heart of palm, sliced in circles
1.5 cups of chives, minced
2 limes, juiced
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 2 hours. Makes 4 servings.