I have not been to the Saturday Farmers' Market at Kapiolani Community College in a few months. I love the KCC Farmers' Market, which has over 50 vendors with local items from Hawaii, but what I don't love are the huge crowds. Even a couple years ago, if you got to the market early, right before the opening bell at 7:30, you could park, get your items and get out pretty easily, missing the larger crowds that came later. Now, EVERYONE gets there early and the large parking lot was full when I pulled in at 7:15 so I had to park on a side street and "hoof it" to the market.
My main intention in going to the market today was to pick up some local eggs and herbs for my first Barefoot Blogger's post this Thursday. (More on that later...Thursday to be exact!) The Hawaii Egg Producers Association was there, highlighting fresh island eggs and the last remaining four (only four!) producers in the state, all family owned and operated. After talking to the friendly people at the booth and reading the brochure, I will make every effort to seek these eggs out in the future--both for the quality and freshness and to support community based family farms.
Seldom do I stick only to my intentions when shopping and there was plenty more at the market that caught my eye (and my wallet!) and made me remember why I love the market so much.
Big Island Bees was there with their Organic Hawaiian Honey. I have seen their honey in the stores but getting to sample it and talk to the wonderful people who own and operate the company made me walk away with two jars: O'hia Lehua Blossom (a rare, native tree considered sacred in Hawaii that the bees feed on), which is described as a light, thick honey with a distinctive floral nose that pairs well with cheese, mixed with green or spread with butter on biscuits. Wilelaiki Blossom (a.k.a. Christmasberry), a orange hued honey with subtle, spicy notes, less sweet and good in savory dishes , marinades and in Chai tea. Both are single flower honeys which are rare because they require the ability of the location to feed the bee from one flower type. To think I didn't really like honey until recently....
I stopped at the Raw Essentials Living Foods booth and after talking to them and sampling some products, came away with a package of Savory Protein Sprinkle; a mix of nutritional yeast, dulse (kelp) and organic seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, etc.) to sprinkle on salads and grains. They also had jars of a unique, tangy, Miso-Arame Sauerkraut, with organic cabbage, wild arame (seaweed), chick pea miso and seasonings that I thought would be great served with fish or to top some brown rice. You have to love products that list "aloha" as the first ingredient as all of theirs do. They had several other products that looked good, including some raw desserts that I will have to try another time because I got my sweets another way:
Country Comfort Catering was there with Beignets! There is no picture because I took them up Diamond Head Road on the way home, sat on the wall overlooking the water and enjoyed the still warm, puffy, tender deep-fried dough, dusted with powdered sugar that they serve with a lilikoi (passionfruit) sauce. The beignets themselves are wonderful, but the sweet tang of the lilikoi sauce elevates them to the sublime and eating them while looking out over the (finally no vog!) blue sky and ocean was a nice little break.
For my lunch later, I had to get a bento from Xotic Eats, makers of tofushi, ahi and tofu cakes and other healthy items. I love their ahi cakes especially and this bento had an ahi cake, a tofu patty and a kind of tofu croquette with brown rice, edamame and kobacha squash. It tastes better than it looks I think!
All of that plus my herbs, fresh tomatoes, hearts of palm, cucumbers, corn (which is going in a raw soup tonight) and who could resist these bright little baby eggplants that they suggested using on shishkabobs? And bright red Kula strawberries, the best dessert ever when paired with freshly made vanilla whipped cream.
I have a lot of food now to cook and post about. Maybe it's better that I don't get to the market that often!