Local Flavors: Not Your Average Produce

Local Flavors: Not Your Average Produce
kauai farmers markets na pali coast magazine

Local Flavors: Not Your Average Produce by Katie Twaddle

The other day, I had the entire day to myself. The men, i.e., my three roommates, were off doing their things, i.e., working at their respectable jobs and I had all day to mosey around the house and do whatever I wanted. I chose, despite the unusually cloudy day, not to mosey around the house, no; I decided to do something the men of my household have thus far refused to do with me, and that is go to a Farmer’s Market on Kaua‘i. Now, on Kaua‘i, there are 15 different farmer’s markets each week located all across the island. The one I visited is the Kukui Grove Farmer’s Market, on Mondays only, and starts at 3pm. (Enough time for me to mosey around all morning on my day off.) Even though I’ve lived here for some time, the experience was a new one to me.

I was fascinated at the atmosphere of the Kaua‘i Farmer’s Market. While it was one of the smaller markets compared to others I’ve seen (while driving by of course, yelling “stop, stop!”), it was full of people and I got the feeling the early goers get the best grub. Speaking of grub: vegetables, fruit and more vegetables, and not just your typical tomato, mango, and cucumber. There were things there that I had never seen, much less heard of. How big is the largest avocado you’ve ever seen? Well, I saw one that must have weighed 8 pounds. Guacamole, anyone?

However, this is no weight contest. The quality of produce is none that you will be able to find at the local grocery store.Try some beautifully pink mountain apples, ripe apple bananas, kumquat, and rumbutan. There were some classic favorites as well: Kaua‘i grown pineapple, mango, papaya, lemons, and limes, and oranges, spinach, kale, arugula, and eggplant. And how about some bright yellow and orange flowers? The sweet old woman sitting on her tailgate is sure to give you a good price. At the farmer’s market you become witness to a unique part of Hawaiian culture, and that is, the mixture of many cultures. While walking through, passing booth after booth, I heard Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Hawaiian pidgen being spoken. I felt as if I were in another country. Was I really in America in the parking lot of a K-mart? Yes!! So I left satisfied with my produce and anxious to visit a different farmer’s market next week. I also left with a red tongue because I can’t resist the shave ice stand.

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