Visiting the Kaua‘i Community Market

Lihu‘e, Hawaii

Following last week's quick stop in Seattle, we finally landed in Kaua‘i, which is a wonderland of farmers' markets and produce stands selling fresh tropical fruits and other island treats. There's a farmers' market (or two or three) practically every day of the week here, and we found the Saturday market at Kaua‘i Community College especially welcoming to both locals and tourists. It's the perfect place to discover new flavors, grab some breakfast or lunch, and shop for gifts and souvenirs.

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Deciding which photos to share was a challenge; we had shots of beautiful sunrise papayas, mangoes, green and purple avocados, pineapples, coconuts, sugarcane, liliko‘i (passion fruit), sweet corn, macadamia nuts, homemade preserves, and more. But ultimately, we decided to highlight some of the more unique finds, along with images of the people, for they are the heart and soul of the Kaua‘i Community Market!

TOP ROW
1 Like all the Kaua‘i residents we've met, vendors at the farmers' market were quite friendly. Want to know more about an unfamiliar fruit, how to pick a ripe one, and the best way to eat it? Just ask.
2 Breadfruit are starchy and taste somewhat like potatoes. They are usually grilled, roasted, boiled, or fried.
3 We were told that momi apples are extremely precious, as there are only four trees on the island. The flesh is creamy and sweet.
4 Ranging in color from bright pink to deep plum, mountain apples are crunchy, mildly sweet, and taste best chilled.
5 Kauai Kunana Dairy is a small family farm that sells goat cheese, honey, bath products, and more. We particularly enjoyed their passion fruit chèvre.

MIDDLE ROW
6 Santol fruits have a sweet-sour pulp that's nearly impossible to remove but can be eaten by sucking on the seeds.
7 In addition to tropical fruits, many vendors had vegetables like cucumbers, eggplants, squashes, and greens, all at surprisingly low prices.
8 Moloa‘a Bay Coffee is a coffee farm on Kaua‘i's north shore. They also do mail order.
9 It was a drizzly, blustery morning, but bouquets of tropical flowers brightened up the market...
10 ... as did colorful dragon fruit, pineapples, and bananas.

BOTTOM ROW
11 The Hanalei Taro & Juice Co truck had treats like kulolo (taro-coconut pudding), fresh poi, taro mochi, and even taro hummus.
12 Among the banana varieties were apple bananas, which have, as the name suggests, a hint of apple flavor.
13 Such lovely cherimoyas!
14 Ginger is super fresh here.
15 Among the prepared food vendors is Lee's Food, which sells Korean kimchi, pajun (pancakes) and kimbap (sushi rolls). Although it is not pictured here, The Right Slice pie stand is also not to be missed.

The Kaua‘i Community Market is held on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm, in the Kauai Community College parking lot. For more information, visit the Kaua‘i Community College website.

Listings for other Kaua‘i farmers' markets (also known as Sunshine Markets) may be found at Real Kauai and County of Kaua‘i.

Related: Sense of Place: Flavors and Ingredients of Hawaii

(Images: Emily Ho)

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