We are two days into this years Hawaiian adventure and we ventured out to do one of the things we love to do in any city we can, find a farmer’s market, talk to the local purveyors and see what fun, unusual items we can find. We found two that were operating on Saturday, just until noon about 45 minutes down the coast past Kona. We got an early start, after a large cup of yummy Kona coffee, to find ourselves in the middle of a shopping mall (*note, the shopping mall with the movie theater of Kona….we will be visiting next weekend when Harry Potter comes out) to find about 20 white tents set up in a row, filled with everything from crafts to jewelry, to baked goods and homemade preserves to local produce, just picked that morning, to huge Kona avocados and of course, lots of coffee.
Our favorite is a stand with baby arugula and romaine, bunches of herbs and heirloom tomatoes, all packaged in bags that are completely biodegradable, as we learn as we buy (a theme amongst all the stands) and a woman selling both spiced macadamia nuts in flavors like vanilla curry and mango spice along with massive, perfectly round avocados that look more like oversized black olives than avocados. She explains they are a special type just grown on the island which are super creamy and aromatic. Enough said, we’ll take two.
We wander over to a booth run by chefs from the University of Hawaii’s Culinary Program, as we always like to talk to local chefs for their lay of the land, only to find they are there raising money to get to their annual conference, which just happens to be in Dallas that year. We exchange great restaurant tips and donate a bit to their cause in exchange for Oatmeal-Raisin cookies the size of my head.
We drive back up the coast heading into Kona and stop at another open market, this one with more goods than produce, and find the charming Kona Natural Soap man that promptly gives us the ins and outs of his soap making process. It reminded me of when I would ask my grandpa what time it was and he would tell me how a clock was made. A little more information than I had expected, but his enthusiasm was of course contagious, and we bought a clove, cinnamon and orange blend that smelled so good you almost wanted to eat it….
Now, with a stocked fridge we are off to the beach sipping a tall Pimms and Ginger Ale. Another day in paradise.