Monday, September 13, 2010

Hawaii Farmers Market – People's Open Market (POM)

We love buying local food at home in Pennsylvania and living in a new place is no different. So one of the first things we did after arriving in Hawaii was search out the local farmers markets.

Unlike the farmers markets that operate in one location, Hawaii’s People's Open Market actually comes to you! It’s an interesting concept that works quite well. You just need to know the day and hours they will be in your area and then walk or drive a very short distance to where the trucks temporarily set up shop. If lots of people shop at the farmers market like they do in Hawaii, it really reduces the need for everyone to drive as much. Only the vendors have to drive around the island and everyone gets to enjoy their delicious fresh local fare! It’s a real win, win!

It’s fun to meet locals and discuss how to prepare unfamiliar veggies. I’ve found many Hawaiians suggest cooking all sorts of veggies and greens with SPAM, which is not a product I’ve ever tried in my cooking arsenal!  Although we did not purchase any SPAM, we did purchase loads of fresh local fruits and veggies. I’ll be slicing and dicing all week to use them up so we’ll be ready to restock next weekend.

Some of the fresh fruits and veggies we purchased include:
- Hawaiian Pineapples
- Hawaiian Apple Bananas
- Mangos
- Ginger
- Cilantro
- Garlic
- Bok Choy
- Red Bell Peppers
- Onions
- Carrots
- Long Beans
- Green Onions
- Tomatoes
- Avocados
- Limes
- Lemons
- Okinawa Purple Sweet Potatoes – Super healthy and they really are purple...Love these!

I see lots of fun and delicious recipes, especially stir fry’s in our future.

Many vendors also had coolers of fresh caught whole fish! The fish is amazing here, but I have no idea how to fillet a whole fish so I didn’t venture into purchasing one of those beauties. Although, they were hot sellers and looked quite popular among the locals.

Even if you're staying at a hotel and do not have a full kitchen, you could purchase some inexpensive local fruits and veggies as healthy beach snacks.  One of our favorites to take to the beach are the small, but tasty Hawaiian Apple Bananas - no preparation or kitchen tools required to eat and enjoy.

For more information, go to The People's Open Market Program and check out the Market Schedule.

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