Waimalu Shopping Center • 98-040 Kamehameha Hwy. • Aiea • 488-0505
These places on Oahu preserve the tradition.
1156 Koko Head Ave. • Kaimuki • 737-1022
Sing Cheong Yuan specializes in the preserved fruits served at Chinese New Year, all displayed in rectangular bins behind the pastry case. Now you can find their products in Kaimuki’s Crack Seed Store, which they recently took over. See the bins in the left-side window? Those are all crack seed. — Melissa Chang
Seed City sells seeds in jars and prepackaged seeds, plus li hing Icee, which they’re known for. You may want to note that due to the huge trend in lemon peel gummies, they’re currently sold out of lemon peel. — Melissa Chang
Walls and shelves of one of Oahu’s last mall crack seed shops are lined with glass jars and pre-portioned bags of seeds, old-school candies and tons of gummy options. Icee here comes with your choice of li hing powder or juice. — Mari Taketa
Baldwin’s is an Aiea institution known for its shave ice, but there’s a good selection of packaged crack seed among its savory snacks and gummies. — Mari Taketa
Aiea Shopping Center • 99-115 Aiea Heights Dr. • Aiea • 484-2200
One of the hidden gems of Chinatown with maybe the biggest selection of crack seed items in the neighborhood. From nostalgic glass jars, you can get stuff like the football olive, dried passion fruit and all sorts of dried seafoods you’ve probably never heard of. Those that like to make their own lemon peel gummy bears can find the stuff already ground up and ready to go. Give yourself time to browse and you might find treasures you haven’t seen in a long time. — Jason Chin
We're lucky that in Hawaii, drug stores, convenience stores and supermarkets sell crack seed. But the best kind come from crack seed stores and hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop shops. If they let you sample, bonus. And if they sell Icee with li hing mui inside? That's an unforgettable, only-in-Hawaii thrill. These places on Oahu preserve the tradition.News that Kaimuki's Crack
At the very end of a visit to Oahu, I learned about something called “crack seed.” It’s slang for local snacks – mostly dried fruits, not so much actual seeds – that you can still find in a few remaining shops in the islands. –>
From Bruce Fisher / @AlohaBruce on Twitter:
“I go to Seed City at Pearlridge [shopping center] now – [favorites] are rock salt plum, honey ginger. When I’m sick I like to put salty lime in some tea.”
“Favorite snack type? Lemon peel/strips, rock salt plum, dried clams, dried scallops…they’re all good. Wholesale Unlimited is good for this kind of stuff, but Crack Seed City at Pearlridge [is] a fave.”
There’s an element of nostalgia here for Hawaiian residents; many grew up going to the crack seed shop just like mainlanders went to the candy store to fish around in glass jars or gaze at colorful counter displays for their favorite sweets. As is typical of the islands, though, these snacks are an intriguing Asian/tropical taste mix of sweet and salty fruits and flavors.
Red legs snack at a crack seed store in Hawaii (photo by Sheila Scarborough)
From Melissa Chang / @Melissa808 on Twitter, who worked at a now-closed Ala Moana Mall crack seed shop throughout high school, so she knows her seed snacks:
From Neenz Faleafine / @NEENZ on Twitter, who likes to make her own: –>
There was only time for me to make one rather hurried visit to Rainbow Crack Seed (sometimes spelled crackseed) located in a strip mall in the town of Kaneohe, on the lush Windward side of Oahu fairly close to where we stayed in Kailua. I should have gotten a local to go with me or give recommendations, because there was bag after bag of stuff that was a complete mystery. I knew what to do with the shave ice and sweet boba teas that were offered at the front of the store, but stared cluelessly at the “tourist plums” and “hurricane popcorn” and “cuttlefish legs.” –>
Dried fruits and fish, candies, shave ice and other unique local snacks; what you’ll find in some of Hawaii’s crack seed stores.