Food, Music & Fun: Maui's Second Annual Ulu (Breadfruit) Festival

Posted by Staff Writer on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 at 12:55pm.


Amazing food, music, cooking demonstrations and plants for sale — at Maui’s second annual La 'Ulu Day, there's fun for the whole family!

On Sept. 8, the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens in Kahului is hosting La 'Ulu Day in partnership with the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Free to the public, the festival will celebrate 'ulu, or breadfruit, which has been a staple of the diet in Hawaii for hundreds of years.

Food booths, breadfruit cooking demonstrations and a sale of Pacific 'ulu varieties are among the attractions at the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be a multi-grower Hawaiian plant sale, cultural activities, live Hawaiian music and hula.

And if that isn’t alluring enough, foods and drinks planned for sale at the event include 'ulu horchata, Pono Pies, 'ulu kalo burgers on 'ulu naan bread and Maui Tropsicles with 'ulu flavors. There will also be vegetarian 'ulu curry, 'ulu hummus and 'ulu chips, Insalata Italiana di 'Ulu (Italian 'ulu salad), 'ulu pa'i'ai with coconut and tapioca wrapped in banana leaf, palaoa 'ulu ('ulu flour) and umu ahi (fire pit) cooked whole 'ulu.

The 'ulu is considered one of the most important plants brought to Hawaii by the Polynesians more than 1,000 years before Western contact. Breadfruit trees are known to be one of the highest yielding fruit plants, and can produce between 50 and 150 fruits per year. Besides food, these plants were also widely used as a source of wood, fiber and medicine.

Today, however, the most common use for ulu is eating! 'Ulu can be used for a wide variety of dishes and eaten at all stages of maturity  from firm with a potato-like texture to soft with a creamy, custard-like consistency. 

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