By Kait Hanson

Step aside, dried fruit. There's a new charcuterie staple on deck.

Maui Fruit Jewels is bringing a taste of the Hawaiian Islands to tables this holiday season. Hawaii Fruit Paste, a twist on European fruit pastes, was created to be served alongside artisan cheeses and level-up traditional charcuterie platters.

Made from island fruits and spices, these jelly-like discs are a burst of rich fruit flavor, but contain no added colors, flavors, or preservatives. The best part? They offer a one-year shelf life and are both vegan and wheat-free.

Photo: Bryan Berkowitz

When Lin ter Horst set foot on Maui, Hawaii for the first time in 2012, she was drawn to the bounty of lush tropical fruits like lilikoi, pineapple, papaya, guava, and mango that are found in the islands.

A patisserie graduate of Le Cordon Bleu London, Lin was determined to create a dessert from the abundance of fresh fruit at her disposal. Inspired by a traditional French sweet, Maui Fruit Jewels was born out of a small kitchen in Wailuku, Maui.

"We were only interested in making a premium and fruit-based product that was shelf-stable without preservatives," says Lin ter Horst, who co-owns the company alongside her husband, Chris. "The French confection pates de fruits meet those criteria, and they just happened to be vegan and gluten-free."

Featuring five flavors — everything from fiery Hawaiian Chili Pepper Pineapple to sweet and tart Passion Fruit (lilikoi) — there is a Hawaii Fruit Paste varietal for all palates.

"Lilikoi is the single best-selling flavor in both the fruit jelly and the fruit paste product lines," says ter Horst.

But it is the no-waste approach to processing that elevates these exotic fruit preserves over traditional jams and jellies.

Photo: Maui Fruit Jewels

"To manually extract lilikoi pulp from fresh lilikoi, the fruit is first washed, then sliced in half, with the pulp and the seeds scooped out. Unlike most other value-added farm product manufacturers that use only the lilikoi puree, Maui Fruit Jewels uses both the puree and lilikoi seeds in their products," says ter Horst, who has purchased more than 15,000 pounds of Maui-grown lilikoi for their products.

Another detail that makes this cheese board addition a no-brainer? All pastes come with pairing recommendations clearly printed on the outside of the box, bringing together an impressive charcuterie platter in a snap.

For those who might be interested in a larger flavor selection, check out Maui Fruit Jewels' Exotic Fruit Jellies. Individually wrapped and offered in both single and mixed flavor boxes, be sure to grab the variety pack to test out the unique jellies infused with local Hawaiian wine, which takes happy hour to a whole new level.

Whether a big event or a casual get together is on the agenda, impress your friends with a taste of paradise delivered right to your door.

Related: Say Aloha to Our 17 Best Hawaiian Recipes

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