Mid to late summer is the peak of Hawaiian pineapple season. Right now there are more than 20 quickly ripening in Beat of Hawaii’s yard. Grown simply by placing the crown on the ground, these make beautiful albeit thorny plants which produce pineapples in two years. There are many pineapple varieties with the cayenne type being most common. White reduced acid sugarloaf pineapple is also a popular treat.
If you would like to take pineapples home with you on your Hawaii vacation, which we highly recommend, here’s good news and the current official update. You do not need to purchase pineapples at the airport or at the Dole Plantation. Unlike papayas, which require certification and treatment with gas, with pineapples you’re free to shop around for the best quality and price and bring them in your carry-on bags. So long as pineapples are in good condition, agriculture inspectors will not care whether you bought them at an airport store or from a local farmers market (which we personally recommend).
Note: Check your pineapples: There should be no holes, bruises or bugs.
Pineapples are not the only approved food items for exporting. Coconuts are fine too. Here’s the complete and current list of do’s and don’ts from the US Department of Agriculture for travelers from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland.
If you didn’t know, Hawaii’s agriculture protection and quarantine program has been in effect since 1888. King Kalakaua implemented it originally to protect the Hawaii coffee industry.