There was a waiting line to get into the Crack Seed store in Kaimuki. That’s how popular this 35 year old business is with locals. I’ve walked by many times before but today decided to experience it myself.
The Young Family was more than helpful. I was given free samples to try and taken to the “bunny slope” for my first Crack Seed experience. The plumb was sweet and salty. I was hooked and wanted more sensory overload. The samples took me to the end of the Hawaiian rainbow.
Crack Seed Defined.
Also called Li Hing Mui, it’s a Hawaiian snack delicacy of Chinese derivation. Crack Seed came from a time when travelers packed sweet and salty dehydrated fruits to supplement plain rice. The salt replenished what was lost due to heat and also acted as a natural preservative for the fruits. Chinese immigrants brought this tradition to Hawaii in the mid-1800’s and it’s remained popular ever since.
Dried plums in various forms including rock salt. Lemon peel (how about 6 varieties).
Where to Go for Crack Seed.
The Crack Seed store located in Kaimuki (Honolulu) is the real deal for the best in Hawaii. Under the same ownership of the Young family for decades, you’ll get help, free samples, and find a plethora of large glass jars filled with tasty delights. It isn’t cheap (compared with Long’s) but the quality is incomparable.
Look for the traditional plums and lemons to mango, strawberry, lychee, and more. Depending on the time of day you arrive, there may be a fast-moving line streaming out the door. Don’t let that dissuade you. This uber-popular store has been featured in newspapers and magazines, and you’ll soon find out why.
The Crack Seed Store, 1156 Koko Head Avenue, Honolulu