- Barbara Cooks - http://www.barbaracooks.com -

Hawaii – A Farmers’ Market Perspective

I am writing this to you from the most beautiful state in the U.S. That’s right, I’m in Hawaii and listening to the ocean outside my window as I type this! I’ve been touring the islands the past couple of weeks on my honeymoon which explains the short absence you’ve no doubt noticed by now. I had all these lofty plans of posting things I had prepared in advance while here on vacay but you know how that goes. Sometimes you just can’t get it together. But hey, I have a great excuse. I mean seriously, folks, I’m on my honeymoon!

I cannot leave here, however, without first sharing with you some of the wonderful finds and experiences at the local farmers’ markets. Y’all know how I LOVE farmers’ markets (I do go every week in San Diego for my eggs and produce!) so how could I travel to such a lush and tropical location without seeing what their markets have to offer? I have been to two since we first touched down in the Pacific and I can tell you I am NOT disappointed! Below are some photos of the amazing fruits, veg & products I found and wanted to share with you.

The first market we went to was in Oahu at the Kapiolani Community College (you can find out more info HERE). It had a huge variety of food vendors serving up local specialties and a wide array of tropical fruits and vegetables. This market was teeming with international tourists and I could definitely see why. Why wouldn’t you want to check out this local gem if you got wind of it?

We had to start our day off with some coffee, of course! And what’s better than pure Kona Coffee? Harens Old Tree Estate is meticulous about their coffee beans and it shows! Find out more information HERE.

Then we came across this delicious sea asparagus. It was amazing because it was naturally seasoned – no salt needed! Olakai Hawaii will ship this amazing veg to the mainland and I will definitely be ordering some when I get home! You can find out more info HERE.

Of course there were  amazing fruits like, mango, papaya and pineapple.

And I couldn’t resist trying the BBQ Abalone! Abalone is a delicacy of the Big Island. Find out more info HERE.

Look at these amazing mangosteen! So packed full of nutrients and good stuff.

This had to be the BEST banh mi I’ve ever had. So fresh and delicious!

Longans galore!

I thought these potato spirals were so beautiful! I wish I had enough belly room to try them!

And of course we had to cool down with one of these OnoPops! M had the guava tamarind and I had the Kalamansi Coriander. They were so interesting and tasty. You can find out more info about them HERE.

M just couldn’t leave without getting a fresh pineapple juice – after all, the islands are famous for pineapples!

 For information on all the Farmer’s Markets on the island of Oahu, you can check out THE OAHU FARMER’S MARKET GUIDE.

The next market we were able to go to was in Kauai at the Kauai Community College (you can find more info HERE). For such a small island population, this market was quite substantial. They offered a huge amount of tropical fruits at amazingly low prices. There were also a few food vendors offering up their delicacies.

There were so many mangoes, avocados, papayas and apple bananas. Oh how we love those apple bananas!

These are mountain apples. I’d never seen or heard of them before this trip. They are similar in texture to a pear and watery tasting. We met a lady who makes a delicious pie with them. I’m sorry to say, ahem, that we ate the mini pie before I could snap a shot of it! Don’t judge.

We saw this squash many many times. I have yet to find out what variety it is. Anyone wanna help me out?

Soursop juice? Why yes, thank you! This fruit has a notable tropical flavor and the juice is refreshing and delicious!

Ahh, the passion fruit. One of the fruits these islands are known for. It is used as a flavoring for just about everything from drinks to salad dressings to BBQ sauce to desserts. And at 4 for $1? What a steal!

We had such a fun time strolling through the markets, trying new and exotic (at least to us) flavors and getting new ideas. There are so many things I want to try now when we return home to San Diego! Our 2 1/2 week adventure has taken us to many more exciting places as well, which I’m sure I will share some of with you. Hawaii has officially become one of my favorite places on Earth.

P.S. Like this and wanna see the great food we’ve found in the fab restaurants in the islands? Check out my instagram feed HERE!