I love visiting Farmers' Markets. When I am lucky enough to travel I always try to find out where the local farmer's market is and add it to our plans. It tells you so much about the neighborhood. There is just something special about all of the incredibly hard workers who make up the market. Besides the goods they are selling they all have a story to share.
My local Farmers' Market is The Saturday Farmers' Market at the Kapiolani Community College, just a few minutes drive from Waikiki. It is co-sponsored by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani Community College. It is the largest Farmers' Market in Hawaii and the only one featuring all Hawaii grown and produced foods and flowers. Vendors selling their goods at this market have extremely strict guidelines to follow regarding the origin of their goods. Some of the guidelines include:
- Fruits, vegetables, and flowers must be grown in Hawaii.
- All ready to eat, processed and value added food products must be made in Hawaii in a certified commercial kitchen and Hawaii grown ingredients should be incorporated into the product whenever possible (the greater the percentage of Hawaii grown ingredients used in ready to eat food products may determine a vendor’s participation in the markets).
- All beverages sold need to be bottled or produced in Hawaii. This applies to soft drinks, bottled water, tea, coffee and other items sold in the market.
There are some wonderful vendors at this market. Most of them are there every week, although sometimes a new one comes in to fill in a spot for someone who is sick. Each week there is a Tip Sheet produced so that you can check out exactly who will be at the market on Saturday. You can also follow the market on Twitter @HNLFarmers for market updates, specials & pictures.
I saw so many things that I wanted to buy. Dean Okimoto's Nalo Farms has some of the best greens. Nalo Farms supplies approximately 130 restaurants with over 3,000 pounds of their tasty greens each and every week, including Roy's. I always stop by the Hawaiian Fudge Sauce stand. Seriously, you will think that you died and went to heaven after tasting the samples. It is very hard to walk away with just one jar of fudge sauce. I recommend you buy a few because this stuff is good right off the spoon, so you might need another jar for your ice cream. I tried some samples from Honomu Jams and Jellies - Passionfruit Butter, Passionfruit Ginger Jam, Tahitian Lime Ginger Jelly, Sugar Free Waimea Strawberry (made with blue agave). They were all excellent and the taste of the fruit really shines through. I found it hard to choose, so I picked two, and will go back in a few weeks to try a few more.
After visiting the market I drove down the road to Diamond Head Market Grill. Their blueberry scones are legendary and on the weekends they also have banana scones (Fri-Sun). These scones are different from your average scone. They are so moist and cake-like, and have a very light vanilla glaze on top. They also have a wide range of prepared foods that make this the perfect place to stop before you head out for a day at the beach, or you can enjoy one their breakfast or lunch plates. They may not have a view but their food more than makes up for it. And if you do need a view the beaches of Waikiki are a few minutes down the road, and so is the beautiful Kapiolani Park.