Kiawe – The pods are back!

On the way home from the beach this afternoon, I saw kiawe beans spilling out onto a  sidewalk.  Grabbing a bag from my car, my friend Jeany and I scooped up the plumpest, freshest ones.  This is a harvest that picks itself by dropping to the ground when ripe.  It’s an unloved plant (mainly because people don’t realize how wonderful it is — and it has big, sharp thorns).  It was introduced in Hawaii in 1826 by a French priest.  On his way to Hawaii, he had traveled through Peru, where he saw the indigenous women using the pods to make flour; “mesquite,” they called it.  My son, John, and I learned about kiawe in a workshop a couple of years ago given by Vince Dodge and Sunny Savage.
Recently, Sunny sent an e-mail reminding us about the wonderful yellow bean:

KIAWE Season is HERE NOW!!!

Which one is kiawe, A or B?
To find out the answer, go to our Instagram or Facebook pages!
Jumping up and down over here! Yup, me along with all of those in the know. Have you had a kiawe craving? On a magical night in Wailea, 5 days ago to be exact, while preparing wild salad for 70 in an epic outdoor farm to table experience, I found my first ripe kiawe (Prosopis pallida) of 2019. Did I mention jumping up and down! Allelujah! Since this blessing happened I have driven around half of Maui scouting kiawe beans. Lanai tomorrow and Molokai next week. There is food going to waste on the ground out there. It is time to activate on this harvest NOW. Why?
Hot dry sunny days make for great kiawe beans. Although the trees will continue to produce beans, if we have heavy moisture from tropical storms or hurricanes, the beans become moldy. This is the time to store this amazing food, before the hurricanes come! Free food, stored just in time for hurricane season. Get them now!
Want to learn more? Kiawe is the perfect food for a community cooperative…let’s get organizing. We need kiawe dryers in Lahaina and Kihei. And remember, Hawaiian harvesting rights are protected under law, so respect the host culture. We have a window of beautiful weather right now, let’s activate and bring in this blessing of sweet abundance.
Get involved —>>> c
Copyright © *2019 Savage Kitchen, All rights reserved.

Thanks, Sunny.


If you live in Hawaii (or South America)  get out and gather. The forecast for our first hurricane, Barbara, is for Monday.  Get those drying beans.


I have a pot of kiawe tea steeping right now.  [Take two big handfuls of kiawe beans, wash, break into two-three inch pieces, throw into a pot of boiling water, steep]

Kiawe makes a sweet tea, with a very low glycemic level.
Aloha, Renée
Banner photo by RR

Tags: ,

About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: