Saturday, November 6, 2010

Things to Do: Kapiolani Community College (KCC) Farmer's Market

For those interested in a local's taste of Hawaii, you must try the Kapiolani Community College (KCC) Farmer's Market.  Farmers come from all over the State to sell Kona abalone, Kona coffee, Ka'u coffee, fresh pineapples, coconuts, and more here.  It's more organized than other farmer's markets, you can get a free pamphlet showing the vendors, booths, and locations for that day.

Every Saturday there is always a crowd at Kapiolani Community College's parking lot C.  They cater to tourists as well as locals.  So come one, come all, and come early.  I would definitely recommend coming early, it gets hot the later in the morning.  Also, parking can be tough. We got there at 0745 and had to go to the upper lot to find parking.

Notice the sign, Market opens at 0730 and closes at 1100 every Saturday, except Christmas and New Year's Day.  On top of the sign, there are free maps with a list of over 50 vendors and Specials for that day.

What else to check out a Farmer's Market?  The fresh fruits and vegetables right off the farm.

Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices.  However, just a word of warning, you might have trouble flying out of Hawaii with certain produce depending on your destination.

This is THE place for fresh pineapples.  They ask if you'll eat it today or later and will pick a pineapple based on it's ripeness.  These pineapples are sweet, juicy, and firm.  Definitely, check this place out. 

What else besides pineapple would you get at a Hawaiian farmer's market, but fresh coconut.  And where else would you get fresh coconut cut and served with a straw for only $5?  Right here.  The guy will cut a small hole in the top for you to drink at your leisure as you wander around the Farmer's Market.  

He will also cut open the coconut so you can eat the meat after finishing your drink.  I saw a few people snacking on fresh coconut in the shell.  

And speaking of snacking, you can get a variety of tasty treats like beignets and lumpia.  Beignets are a deep fried pastry dusted with powdered sugar, similar to a donut (being deep fried), but without the hole, originally coming from France.  My favorites are the regular and the chocolate-peanut butter filled beignets.
Lumpia are like a Filipino spring roll. They are deli....wait, what's that? Chocolate!

There are a few chocolate vendors today, but this I really liked this one the last time.  Malie Kai Chocolates are one of the few coming from the North Shore and as you can see, they have the "Rarest Chocolate on Earth".  The dark has a deeper, rich flavor, but with a (very) slight bitter aftertaste.  The milk chocolate is a bit smoother, though not as strong.    
They also have chocolate with nibs and chocolate mixes.
If that wasn't enough chocolate for you, there is a stand for chocolate chip cookies.

If you want savory instead of sweet, the Farmer's Market also has breakfast and lunch items.
You can get Kona Abalone barbeque or fresh.  They even sell it in vacuum packages so you can take them home with you.

And to wash all of that down, there is nothing like a morning cup of coffee.  
For the ladies, you can do some shopping.
Okay, I was forced to include the last two pictures and don't know much about orchids or Honey Girl all-natural skin care products.  Since a lot of couples will be visiting, I was HIGHLY encouraged to include these items so the women can shop, while the guys check out the food.  I'll update and add to this post as I try other vendors.

For more information, here's the link to KCC Farmer's Market:

Hope this helps!

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