Paradise Farms of Hawaii is a family owned and operated business focusing on providing locally made specialty products to customers and retailers both at home and abroad. We got our start as one of the only local producers of inamona on the Big Island. Inamona, a condiment used in Hawaiian cooking made from roasted kukui nuts (candlenuts) and salt, is traditionally used to enhance the flavors of poke and sushi. However, it can be incorporated into many different recipes. It is frequently added to soups, stews, and a range of vegetable dishes. It can also be ground into flavorful sauces and is often used as a thickening agent in these settings. You will find it in dishes such as Pulehu Grass Fed Filet Mignon, seared Mahi Mahi with warm tomato inamona salad and our personal favorite, inamona pesto.
About Kukui Trees
Kukui was made the official tree of the State of Hawaii because of the multiplicity of its uses to the ancient Hawaiians for light, fuel, medicine, dye, and ornament, as well as its distinctive beauty. This large spreading tree can be identified by its silvery green or grayish foliage and is common in moist lowland mountain forests throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Most of our kukui nuts are sourced from trees found in the wild where they are often known to cluster together in gulches and valleys that may be difficult to get to. The challenges of harvesting kukui is a large part of what makes it so valuable, but our hardworking pickers are always up to the task.
Traditional and Modern Day Uses
The seeds of this plant were brought to Hawai`i by the first Polynesian voyagers. Often referred to as the candlenut tree, the kukui is a classic example of the wisdom of ancient voyaging Polynesians. The plants that they chose to bring on their canoes had to serve many useful purposes. The kukui has proven to be just that. Hawaiians used kukui, meaning “light”, by putting the oily kernels on skewers and burning them like candles. The oil is the preferred oil for polishing wooden utensils for food, such as umeke (bowls) and platters. You can now find the oil on the commercial market in many different cosmetics. The leaves as well as the seed shells, black when mature and white when still young, are made into leis. The nut and its oils also have antibacterial and antiinflammatory properties. This combination makes kukui valuable in treating a number of ailments. In laau lapaau (Hawaiian medicine) the ground kernel, as in inamona, was prescribed to treat constipation. Some native Hawaiians suggest the use of inamona to help treat high blood pressure by taking a teaspoon per day. More recently due to it's laxative properties, when used properly and in moderation, kukui nut products are being employed as effective weight loss supplements. Kukui nut oil has also been touted as a hair-growth stimulant, a cholesterol-lowering agent, and an arthritis treatment.
We are located In Keaau near the beautiful Hilo Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Kukui Nuts are found all over the island, including beautiful Waipio Valley.
Wonder why the Kukui Nut is also called the Candlenut?