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‘Ōhelo Berry Jam II

Winona Like Hopkins, KS ’53

Oldies but Goodies, Vol I. Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association,
Nā Pua Maeʻole o Kamehameha Chapter. 1983.


4 cups ‘ōhelo berries (1 quart)
3 cups sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
⅓ cup water


Pick over berries, measure, wash, and drain.
Put berries in a kettle with water and boil until the berries begin to break.
Add sugar and stir until most of the sugar is dissolved.
Boil, stirring often.
Add lemon juice and boil rapidly until a little of the jam thickens when cooled in a saucer.

About ‘Ōhelo

‘Ōhelo is a plant endemic to Hawai‘i and grows only in the high mountains, at elevations above fifteen hundred meters (four thousand feet). It was a rare treat for our kūpuna just as it is for us. The ‘ōhelo is a small native shrub in the cranberry family known for its vibrantly red berries, although the berries can also be yellow. The berries were sacred to Pele and offerings could be made by throwing fruiting branches into the pit at Kīlauea. (Pukui, Hawaiian Dictionary, 276)


photo credit: Melehina Groves

‘Ōhelo berries.


photo credit: Melehina Groves

"Pūʻili hua ʻōhelo mea ʻai na ka wahine. ʻŌhelo berries are gathered as food for the Queen." (From "A i Waimea ʻo Kalani," a chant which details Queen Emma's trip to Alakaʻi Swamp on Kauaʻi.)

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