Skip to main content

Nature’s gift to mankind

The islands of Oceania offer a unique environment where fruit grows wild and free to pick

A fruit basket.
Photo by Jonas Kakaroto

Sivao Lauren, a senior from Apia, Samoa, majoring in political science, said she was born in a family who loves to plant vegetables, fruits and starches.

“We did not need to go to the market to get our fruits like I do here. It was right on the trees. It was free.”

Lauren said she misses home and garden because she could eat fruit right from the trees. She added, “Here in Hawaii life in general is really expensive, including fruits.”

Job Akau, a senior from Honiara, Solomon Islands majoring in TESOL, said he eats fruit with his family only twice a week because fruit is expensive in the markets in Hawaii.

Sakiusa Tukana, a senior majoring in political science, said he loves eating mangoes back home in Fiji. They have different kinds of mangoes during its peak season where “you’ll see every single person, child, parent and anyone taking a big bite out of a mango,” he shared.

Lauren added, “Today, I realized how blessed my family and I are to be surrounded by different kinds of fruits back home.”

Her favorite way of eating her fruits, she said, is to mix them with the Chinese li hing mui powder. According to her, one of the best fruits to eat with the li hing mui powder is the vi fruit.

Senior political science major Kauihelani Lesa who is also from Samoa, said she also enjoys the vi fruit, which is also known as ambarella or the June plum. She said she uses it for salad by grating it and mixing it with other fruits, such as apples and banana, alongside coconut milk.

Lesa added she sometimes sells the vi at the market back home and it is often recommended for pregnant women.