Monday, May 2, 2011

Local, Fresh and Organic...Kauai

Tuesday Market...just west of Hanalei, Kauai
 No secret that I am a bit of a foodie...everywhere I travel, I want to taste whatever is local and special. So I was pretty excited to see that there were so many farmers markets all over Kauai. 

Check out the dude with the pineapple. That is local flavour.
I was amazed by the local food culture in Kauai specifically; a recent trip to Oahu certainly did not have the same local vibe. Hawaii has to ship so much of their food in and most supermarkets don't carry anything local so staples like tomatoes are incredibly expensive and usually kind of sad tasting. Farmers on Kauai have the ability to grow so much in their climate so I was excited to check out a farmers market or two. Who needs tomatoes when you have local taro, greens, papayas and passion fruit?
Apple bananas...sweet and firm fleshed.

 The pictures above are of the market recommended by the Lonely Planet, just west of gorgeous Hanalei on the north shore of the island. Edible Hawaiian Islands also has a great listing on their website here. They kindly offered the tip of "get there early". Do indeed. We showed up at 2:05 for the market in Hanalei, just 5 minutes after the opening. The field was already packed with cars and it was a literal feeding frenzy: stands were emptying fast. People snacked on chocolate covered frozen bananas while filling their baskets with local eggs, goat cheese and pineapples. We bought just a couple of things, including the apple bananas and mangosteen ( I LOVE mangosteen, what a treat!). 

Yummy mangosteen...
The markets are a bit smaller than we are used to here in the lower mainland but what an incredible community spirit. I couldn't think of a better way to get to know the local food culture than to feast on what is grown in their backyards.


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