Saturday @ KCC Farmer’s Market

Monday, June 9, 2008 10comments No tags Permalink 0

(Note: I’m back in NYC now, but there are plenty more Hawai’i posts to be completed :)

It is a given. Saturday mornings in Hawai’i = KCC Farmer’s Market. Also a given: everyone is bound to run into everyone they know. That’s the way this community works, and that’s the way it should be. Some people you only run into every once in a while, others your run into every weekend. Either way, you always feel very welcome under the morning sun and breezy trade winds. The market is open for less than four short hours on Saturday mornings, 7:30am-11am. Don’t bother coming after 9am if you’re interested in the products, because all the good stuff will be gone by then. Hot dishes, drinks and sweets are another matter.

local papayas

The market itself. Is. HolycrazyhowcomesoooAMAZING.

You think NYC’s Greenmarket is something?

Think again.

Waialua Sodas – made on the North Shore

Where else are you going to find Kalua Pig plate lunches, lau lau, taro mochi, Akamai oatcakes, local mangoes and papayas, ginger syrup, Big Island lavender, kim chee fried rice, lilikoi cheesecake mochi, taro AND ti leaves?

…one of many breakfast options

No where.

One of my favourite people I reliably “run” into every visit to the Farmer’s Market is Mrs. Yap, the home ec teacher at Punahou. While I never had the opportunity to take her class during my middle school years (random selection, I got put in the art studio. Figures.), we worked closely together during high school when she was the adviser my Culinary Club, the first of it’s kind at Punahou ^_^ We keep in touch through email, food, and of course, run-ins at the market.

Last week I ran into her, or rather my dad did, while in line at the North Shore Farms tomato booth. It wasn’t their whole ruby red tomatoes we were after (though those are pretty delicious), but the Pesto Grilled Pizza which is CRAZY. Like…CRAZY.

This photo fails to do the pizza the slightest justification, it doesn’t tell you of the grilled crust with just the right amount of char in just right places. It barely hints generous smothers of garlicky mac nut pesto hidden beneath slices of sweet local tomatoes, warm and melting. Unfortunately, all you mostly see is fresh mozzarella melting over the surface and a single basil, just plucked. The only way to know, is to try.

With the pizza, must come a drink, preferably something very cold and icy. I like to head just one stand over to the PacifiKool stand where they offer excellent spicy ginger syrup.

The menu showcases a few different drinks ranging from the basic ginger ale with or without basil to another version with added pineapple juice, lime and mint, and yet another with serrano peppers and lemon. I took the traditional route with the Ginger Cooler, a mix of their ginger syrup with carbonated water, sweet basil, and lemon…

…while dad headed to the KCC stand for…

…their signature pineapple iced tea.

We did a bit of shopping here and there, stopping at the local honey people for a few jars of…

…mac nut cinnamon honey, my personal favourite.

There’s a pretty wide variety of local honeys on hand: lehua, christmasberry, Big Island mac nut, monkeypod…I keep on telling myself I need to get around to trying them all, but man, it’s hard to stay away from the mac nut cinnamon! ^_^

Most our produce comes from Ho Farms, home of irresistibly sweet baby roma tomatoes…

…aren’t the colours amazing?

The string beans aren’t too shoddy either! :) Mom used this particular batch of beans for a simple weeknight stirfry with beef.

Our last stop is at Bale, positioned at the far end of the market. Rodney Weddle is the man in charge of all the wonderful baked goods at the stand, churning out the most rustic breads you can find in Hawai’i. Sometimes we go for the hearty olive loaf, or a dark and sweet fig version. But more often that not, we fall victim to the plush round of potato bread. $6 might not seem like a lot for bread, especially compared with the prices here in NYC…but, when you consider that the fantastic buttertop loaf at Saint Germain is under $4, then you must think twice. Nonetheless, it’s a huge billowing round, topped with potatoes, onions and a melted parmesean. The size is almost daunting at first, but then you’ll be glad…

…cause half ALWAYS gets polished off during the car ride home :)

KCC Farmer’s Market

4303 Diamond Head Rd

Honolulu, HI 96816

(808) 484-0052

  • anonymous
    June 10, 2008

    Was this the 31st or the 7th? I was there on the 31st and I thought I saw you but I was busy eating fried rice and eggs or corn or pizza or … well you know. The KCC farmers market is my favorite way to start the weekend! Looking forward to the rest of your HI posts.Alan from Makiki

  • Kathy YL Chan
    June 10, 2008

    Hey Alan!It was the 31st!!! Aw man, I bet we were totally there at the same time…sigh, that’s what we get for stuffing out faces with so much good stuff, hehee ^_^

  • K & S
    June 10, 2008

    aw man, this post was so delicious, makes me want to jump on a plane right now!!

  • Robyn
    June 10, 2008

    Yesterday Tristan asked me what my favorite food was, and I said it would probably be Hawaiian even though I haven’t eaten much of it. I JUST KNOW.AND ZOMG, WANT THAT PIZZA, [email protected]#[email protected]#buh.

  • da weekend foodie
    June 11, 2008

    It’s been awhile since I visited the KCC Farmers Market…guess I should make it a point to go sometime this summer. Everything always looks good! My daughter had the pizza the last time we went, now I know why she didn’t want to share… Looking forward to the rest of your Hawaii posts :)

  • anonymous
    June 11, 2008

    You always do such a good job covering the KCC Farmer’s Market when you’re home. Everything looks SO good…I really gotta get up earlier on the weekends. :)

  • J. Lo
    June 11, 2008

    Ooooh boy, that fresh mozzarella melted over the top of that pizza looks so ono. thanks for the tip about avocado smoothies at thang’s. my mom and popo are both hooked on them – and i’ve been back twice in a week. i’m also eating a lot of avocados lately just because they are SO GOOD, and you don’t get them as much out east.

  • SicklyBug & Cassaendra
    June 11, 2008

    Hi Kathy~I didn’t know that existed. How long has it been around? I will definitely beg to go there when I get back. Is it all year? Thanks.- Cassaendra

  • Kathy YL Chan
    June 11, 2008

    Hey Kat!ooo, swing by NYC and bring me on the plane with you! heheh :)Robyn!LOL oh man I would not be surprised that Hawaiian food would be your favorite. YOU JUST KNOW IT – that’s why I like you! ^_^ Hey Da Weekend Foodie!Good to hear from you!! I personally think the pizza is too expensive, but I supposed a lot of quality ingedients go into the item…nonetheless, its soooo delicious! Hey Lori!Aw, thanks! ^_^ It’s a bit hard for me to get up so early on Saturdays, but once you set for in the market, this feeling of wow-totally-worth-it, sets in right away, hehe :)Justin!Oh man I’m glad you guys are enjoying the avocado milkshake – it can totally double as a meal, esp with this hot weather, hope all is well! Hey Cassaendra!Yup, it’s all year, every Saturday morning! :)

  • anonymous
    September 5, 2008

    Pacifikool is opening a beach concession at the Waikiki Shore by Fort DeRussy on 9/12/2008. Your favorite ginger drinks will be available 7 days a week along with sausages from KCC Farmers Market favorites, North Shore Cattle and Kukui (da kim chee sausage company). Stop in for a refreshing ginger cooler as you stroll down Waikiki beach!

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