View Full Version : Ka`u Oranges . . . Mmmmmm . . .

July 5th, 2005, 12:29 AM
They're my favorite fruit ever.

I remember my first one. I was working at a youth shelter in Ewa, basically getting paid room and board for being on call twenty-four hours a day, six days a week. I had to be within twenty minutes of the shelter whenever I was on call, and I didn't yet have a car (I'd just come home after graduating UH-Hilo), so my traveling radius was REALLY short. I took my mountain bike out into what used to be the cane fields all over the Ewa plain.

One afternoon, on my way home to the shelter from several hours of riding around in the red dirt, I stopped at the supermarket in Ewa Beach and saw in the produce section the ugliest oranges. Huge, disgusting-looking fruits called Ka`u oranges. I picked one up. Smelled it. Held it to my face to try and figure out what the heck this was. A woman nearby said, "Take it home and try it. You'll be back for more."

So I bought the ugliest-looking fruit in the bin, took it home, stuck it in the fridge, cleaned my bike up, took a shower, peeled the orange, and O H MY G O S H! The sweetest, juciest, orangiest orange in the world. I swear, tears came to my eyes, I was in such bliss. That lady was right. I came back for more that very night.

Lately, it's been harder to find good ones. I know the farmers on the Big Island were having problems with thieves a few years ago, but did that cut into production? Someone told me they got discouraged and decided not to farm oranges anymore. All I know is that the oranges I get at my neighborhood supermarket now are very small--tangerine-sized--and most of them aren't as juicy. They're still sweet as heck, but they're just not the same. I may be imagining this, but they don't even seem as ugly as they used to be.

Does anyone have a source? I'm getting nervous. I'll settle for what I can get, but if you know where I can get really good ones, I promise not to spread it around!

July 5th, 2005, 04:03 AM
yo, scriv...those ka'u oranges are the best in the world, according to my personal citrus manifesto...not the kind of fruit you'd look at and think "yeah, i wanna eat this"...but as genuinely local and as sweet as a lilikoi or gleaming, waxy starfruit...if i could say where to get em, i would...you'll let us know?

July 5th, 2005, 10:24 AM
dang da buggah uglaee orange but is da bestest in da world!!! :D

what if dey cross breed dat bugga with da nice kine looking sunkist variety?? hehhehehe :p

nah Ka'u orange good jus da way it is!!!

yum!!! :)

April 23rd, 2017, 12:02 PM
K'au Gold orange is not allowed to be shipped to the US mainland so is there any way I can get some. I haven't had one in years. Is there a comparable orange available on the mainland? I have read that the Washington orange might be the same. Is it? And how do I know if I'm getting a Washington orange. Seems like the K'au orange is the ugliest I've ever seen.

April 23rd, 2017, 04:50 PM
This article (http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Dec/10/il/il14a.html) has a bit on Washington oranges:

Navel oranges are the predominant sweet oranges in our back yards. Washington navel, Rico No. 2, and Shuekhan are the recommended varieties for home gardens. Big Island oranges, also known as Ka'u or Puna oranges, are the most popular Washington navel varietie

Maybe a Master Gardener can help you (there is a page with links/phone numbers):