Food - Drink
The Fascinating Evolution Of Crack Seed, Hawaii’s Favorite Snack
By NICO DANILOVICH
From macaroni salad, poi, and pork hash to spam musubi and the plate lunch, Hawaii has a lot to offer when it comes to savory food. Likewise, when it comes to something sweet to snack on, Hawaiian cuisine is teeming with options from shave ice and ube tarts to Haupia coconut milk pudding and crack seed.
Crack seed is made from plums produced by the Japanese apricot tree; this tree is originally from China and Laos but it has been cultivated in Hawaii, where its fruit is known as Hawaiian sour plums. Crack seed is made by pickling the plums and their pits with sugar, salt, and licorice, to produce a special treat; the pit eventually cracks, giving the snack its name.
When the seed cracks, it enhances the flavor of the fruit preserves, adding a nuttiness. While traditionally, crack seed has been ground up to be used as a snack or dessert topping, today, crack seed refers to any sweet and sour dry preserved fruit, and the variety is dizzying, from fig, ginger, guava, and kumquat, to lemon, mango, pineapple, starfruit, and more.