By Dagny Brand
Everyone loves a crackseed snack, and Traveling Plum is using all locally grown fruits to combine this Li Hing Mui treat with a mission to support Hawaii agriculture. “Crackseed that’s local to Hawaii and free of preservatives, food coloring, and aspartame means we’re eating better. It means our children are eating better,” explained Founder Robert Ramshur, who uses natural fermentation and probiotics to make his crackseed and to help with Hawaii’s food security. Traveling Plum is opening a storefront at Maui Tropical Plantation where they will be selling their crackseed in addition to other various homemade treats, and they are always looking to partner with new farmers!
Traveling Plum’s crackseed is made 100% locally, from ingredients to drying and everything in between. After first experimenting with his Star Fruit Mui, which he learned from books and aunties around the island, Ramshur spent time networking with farmers to find other Hawaii grown fruits to highlight in his crackseed. Ramshur uses strawberries, pineapples, guavas, and other fruits depending on what is in season from different Maui farms and is looking to partner with more, including farms on outer islands. “There’s so much fruit in abundance here, and nothing goes to waste with preservation,” said Ramshur. A self-proclaimed “fermentation geek,” Ramshur ferments lemons to develop citric acid, the souring agent behind the candies. He uses salt and sugar to preserve the crackseed and ensure that it is shelf stable. These natural techniques allow Traveling Plum’s crackseed to have no aspartame, no food coloring, and no preservatives. The Strawberry Mui and Pineapple Mui are both super delicious, and Traveling Plum has other mui to try as well, depending on what’s in season. Ramshur’s favorite is their White Indonesian Guava Mui. The new storefront, located at Maui Tropical Plantation, is the perfect stop for tons of local snacks, including crackseed, slushies, and spam musubi, all homemade by Ramshur with ingredients from Hawaii farms. Traveling Plum also launched a Maui vinegar made from guava seeds.
The local fruit crackseed is currently available on Traveling Plum’s online store and will be in store on Maui Tropical Plantation at the end of August. Ramshur emphasized the importance of agriculture in Traveling Plum and his desire to work with more farmers, especially those growing mango, guava, meyer and citrus lemons, lychee, and white Indonesian guava. For more information on the 100% local crackseed and to get involved with Traveling Plum, click here.