Kula family holds record for world's heaviest avocado
Move over, Big Island bambuchas. Maui now has the heaviest avocado in the world.
In a contest that pits avocado growers against an arduous verification process, a Kula family finally learned that they hold Guinness World Records’ heaviest avocado.
Mark, Juliane and Loihi Pokini received the Guinness certificate this week declaring their avocado the world’s heaviest — at 5.6 pounds (5 pounds, 9.6 ounces). They applied for the recognition in December.
“We were excited,” Juliane Pokini said Wednesday. “But at the same time, we were like, finally. It was such a long wait.”
In early 2018, the family entered a 5-pound, 7-ounce avocado from the same tree but didn’t have proper verification, which involves a certified horticulturalist, two witnesses who must fill out forms, a state-certified scale, pictures, video and other documentation.
The Pokinis would not be swayed.
“We just keep going,” Mark Pokini said, laughing. “Imua!”
This time, they gathered a team and the right tools ahead of time. Knowing their tree has a history of big fruit, the family watched one avocado in particular, thinking “this guy might be a close contender,” Mark Pokini said.
The family learned via email last month that they had the new top spot. Their picture and story appear on the Guinness World Records website under the heading “heaviest avocado.”
The certificate came this week.
“We are going to try and find a frame for it and hang it on the wall,” Juliane Pokini said.
The family’s more than 10-year-old, 20-foot-tall tree, believed to produce Reed variety avocados, comes from a seed off a family member’s tree in Kailua, Oahu, which is about 50 years old.
Mark Pokini planted the avocado seed when son, Loihi, was born. The tree began its life in a pot at the Pokinis’ previous Omaopio home and was pulled out by Loihi a couple of times and replanted. The family thought the tree would die, but it didn’t.
The Pokinis planted the tree on their Waiohuli Hawaiian Homestead before their house was completed. They don’t water or fertilize the tree, and “kind of just leave it alone” with the exception of some trimming, said Juliane Pokini.
Before Maui’s avocado, Hawaii island laid claim to some of the world’s biggest avocados.
In January 2018, Pamela Wang of Kealakekua became the Guinness record-holder for the heaviest avocado, a Daily 11 variety, at 5 pounds, 3.6 ounces.
Later that year, Felicidad Pasalo of Hilo came up with a 5-pound, 8-ounce giant that set the new Guinness record.
And then, in January, Kenji Fukumitsu of Kona picked a hulking 6-pound, 11-ounce avocado from his farm. A friend of Fukumitsu tried to get the avocado in the record books, but when they found out the rigorous authentication process could take 12 weeks — likely too long for the avocado to last — they settled for calling the news, according to a United Press International report.
Most avocados don’t even come close to the ones found on Maui and Hawaii island — according to Guinness, the average avocado weighs about 6 ounces.
“It was just for fun,” Juliane Pokini said. “We are showing the world that Hawaii produces record-setting avocados.”
Juliane Pokini said their award-winning avocado wasn’t wasted.
“We cut it open and made a whole bunch of guacamole, sharing with family and friends,” she said. “It fed a lot of people. We even gave some away.”
Mark Pokini said he will continue to watch the tree, especially since the family now understands the Guinness process.
“This December, we’re going to be watching,” he said. “I’m still going to be watching the tree.”
* Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.