Big Island

Pears and Pairings – Great Finds in Volcano

One does not think of pears as being a local Hawaiian fruit, and for good reason. The fruit has a hard time in the tropical climate. But in the cooler temperatures of Volcano on the Big Island, one can find pears growing among hapu’u and ohia.

Pears are such a treat in the winter season and I suggest giving them the starring role in a pupu (what we call appetizers in Hawaii) for your next gathering. Here is a super easy recipe, which uses offerings you can find in and around Volcano. (Recipe and instructions below).


Pear pupus served on the granite counter of (MLS# 290943)

Great Local Finds For This Recipe

Some of the best goat cheese you can find here comes from Lava Rocks Puna Goat Cheese where they farm their own happy goats down the road in Mountain View. They offer a variety of flavors and sell in local supermarkets as well as at most all the farmers’ markets in the area.

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Nothing beats freshly ground pepper, and if you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for the perfect pepper grinder. Local artisan (and track coach) Bill McMahon turns the most beautiful grinders out of locally sourced koa at his studio in Volcano. You can see his unique pieces and purchase them at Volcano Winery.

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Speaking of which, a good pupu deserves a good local wine pairing, and Marie Bothof, the owner of the Volcano Winery, recommends paring this smokey pear pupu with their Macadamia Nut Honey wine – which can actually be served warm like sake. The honey they use comes from Big Island Bees.

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If you like something a little drier, she also recommends their Symphony Mele, which compliments the cheese and the fruit. I highly recommend going to Volcano and participating in their wine tasting. You get a great education while you are lavished with attention. Plus it’s fun.

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Ready for serving at my listing preview. As lovely as they are delicious.

Whatever you pair these pupus with, they are bound to please. I happened to serve these pear pupus at the REALTOR® preview of this three bedroom home in Volcano the other day and it was a big hit for very little effort.


  • 12 thin slices pancetta (about 1/3 lb.) (Deli section at KTA Superstore in Hilo)
  • 1 Bartlett pear
  • 1/2 (4-oz.) package goat cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Honey
  • Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs


1. Arrange pancetta slices in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

2. Bake at 450° for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack using a spatula. Let stand 10 minutes or until crisp.

3. Core pear with an apple corer. Cut pear crosswise into 12 thin rings. Arrange on a serving platter. Top evenly with pancetta and goat cheese; sprinkle with pepper. Drizzle with honey just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

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