Tag Archives: farmers market

Kauai’s south shore farmers markets

To market, to market, to buy….more papayas and anything else that looks plucked right off a tree. This was one of the best things about being back in Hawaii, and we didn’t let a day go by without eating some kind of tropical fruit that actually tasted like how it’s supposed to and not ripened in a warehouse. Kauai has farmers markets scattered all over the island but we chose the south shore locations as they were the nearest ones to get to. We enjoyed each of the 3 visited, but of course there has to be one that we just LOVED. If you’re lucky to find yourself at any of the following, remember to bring your own shopping bags, small bills, and someone with strong arms to carry the loot. And get there early!

Koloa Farmers Market: Mondays @ 12 noon

Koloa farmers market

Held at Koloa Ball Park, and as I remember it, is a very busy market frequented by locals and visitors alike. That didn’t seem to be the case in November as the crowd looked half of what I expected. Mainly fresh produce, and oh the strawberry papayas! They were the best we had during our stay. Great prices and friendly vendors. The Man of The House (MoTH) tried his first soursop. It was a tad overripe. I think he’s gonna sit on the fence for that one.

Soursop from Koloa farmers market
Kauai soursop from Koloa’s market $4

Kauai Community Market: Saturdays @ 9:30am to 1pm

Kauai Community market

Website: http://www.kauaicommunitymarket.org – Held at the community college in Puhi. Beautiful selection of fresh produce, tropical flowers, prepared foods to go (I spied a vendor selling kimchi rice), and even a foodtruck or two depending on the weather. Definitely not one to miss for market lovers.

Artisan breads and our loot from the Puhi market

We especially liked the baked goods from Midnight Bear Breads (amaaazing macadamia nut cinnamon Rolls and olive ciabatta) and the goat cheese from Kunana Dairy (omigod the lilikoi is broke da mout’). The cheese vendor also gave us tastings of artichoke, pepperjack, chive, and herbed goat cheese. Her table had many other goodies too; so hard to choose!

Pohole Tropical bouquets Ginger Fresh taro
Kunana Dairy vendor Jackfruit Papaya-a-gogo Avocados
A photographer’s delight for all things colorful and in many shapes and sizes

Kauai Culinary Market: Wednesdays @ 3:30pm to 6pm

Kauai Culinary Market
The Shops at Kukui’ula

Hands down our favorite market. Geared for visitors since it’s in the resort area of Poipu, but the gorgeous setting at The Shops at Kukui’ula is hard to beat especially when you can buy fresh produce and touristy things like Aloha shirts (we bought a Jungle Bird Tom Selleck Magnum PI Hawaiian Shirt for a friend) at the same time. Free tastings at Monkeypod Jams table (the mango jam is divine!), fresh pies from The Right Slice, prepared lasagne and soups to go, chef demos, and much more at this market.

Monkeypod Jam

And when you’re all tuckered out from shopping, get a cone at Lappert’s. The place is known for ice cream, but there’s a small selection of gelato flavors as well. We ♥ the chocolate and chile pepper gelato. MoTH gave it a big thumbs up.

Lapperts at The Shops at Kukuila Kauai Culinary Market sign

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Saturday 2 for 1: mercato di Legnano and french market

Legnano's Saturday market

A busy weekend behind us and even busier ones ahead. Yesterday’s changing of the clock may have set off a few groans as citizens were forced to spring forward, but for us it just meant getting to enjoy our loot from Saturday’s shopping trip. Vegetables, cheese and fresh bread topped the list, and this time we stopped in at Legnano in the Milan province. Their Saturday mercato covers over 59,000 square feet of space and bustles with activity involving over 170 vendors. It is usually at these places where you can find uncommon produce such as garlic scapes and turnips with leaves still attached. Legnano isn’t far from where my inlaws live, and since the french market was also making an appearance in another part of town, we brought them along in a sort of mercato madness. I snapped up a kilo of borragine (borage). The leaves will be blanched and mixed with cooked spinach, chard, ricotta and cheese for pansoti in walnut sauce – a stuffed pasta dish from Liguria.

Borragine

Mercato francese FROMAGE

Too bad the final stop for the french market next weekend is all the way in Ancona! A road trip to France will have to be put on hold for another time (gas prices going up to almost 2€ a liter) so this was the next best thing to posing the Eiffel Tower in front of my camera. Along with that fanciful La Tour chevre, we picked up a smelly Mont d’Or, a wedge of even smellier aged cantal, and a dome-shaped Gaperon. A poppy seed-crusted baguette didn’t measure up to the 2€ price tag (it was really stale) but to offset that disappointment a trio of delicious charcuterie – walnut, bull meat, pheasant with cognac – saved the day.

Chevre shaped like the Eiffel Tower!
Clockwise from left: Mont d’Or, Gaperon, chevre, aged cantal.

Charcuterie

It was the first time for my inlaws to join us on an outing like this so I’m guessing that the day was a success (well, atleast for my mother-in-law). How do I know? Well she had a good laugh over the oohing and aaahing on my part and especially when we came across a local bakery adjacent to the french market. Organic breads and pastries by Panificio Grazioli was the discovery of the day. They make their breads using a pasta madre or mother dough, and the quality and variety is impressive. The loaf of pane Altamura that we bought even had a label (edible) that added a distinctive, classy touch to an already excellent product. They also retail organic stone-milled flour from the company Marino in the province of Cuneo. Their website lists an interesting line of products and is in italian and english.

Panificio Grazioli
Panificio Grazioli, via Giolitti 30, Legnano (MI)

Saturday at Calusco D’Adda and markets in Lombardy

L'Arancia Dei Desideri

Looking for a schedule of weekly markets in Lombardy? The link below gives the where, when and how of all major provinces, and as such catapulted the idea to go mercato-hopping for a change of scenery. The sheer numbers of Calusco D’Adda’s mercato (Bergamo province) are impressive, with 32 food stands and 81 non-food stands in a 49,000 square foot area. It should be noted, however, that bigger does not necessarily translate into better, and it was confusing to discover food vendors scattered from one end to another (in Lecco they are all grouped in one section). The prices were also slightly higher but one good thing to come of it were these sicilian tarocco giallo oranges. At 85 eurocents per kilo (that works out to just over 50 cents/pound), we bought an entire flat. The pulp isn’t 100% red like the moro blood oranges but they are fantastically juicy and sweet with a hint of tang.

Market Calendar for Lombardy

Trolleys, Km 0 and early bird gets the fresh bread

If you’ve been to an italian market you’ll know that shoppers, especially grandmas, pull along a 2-wheeled shopping bag to tote their purchases back home. Well here’s a fairly new idea aimed at those who drive instead of walk. Calusco D’Adda’s market introduced shopping carts for customer convenience, yet the concept might still be a little too foreign to accept.

Carrelli spesa

Asparagus – from Mexico! Shipped in from a Los Angeles distributor. I realize that it isn’t always possible to maintain a km zero ethic but this leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Italy does cultivate asparagus…you just have to wait until they’re ready. My only concession is tropical fruit from South America. Italy can’t do pineapples and bananas.

So NOT km 0

The way you market yourself makes all the difference in the world. Having the aroma of fresh, warm bread wafting out of your space is one thing but this in-your-face sign will jar even the most forgetful of memories.

Pane fresco

On the way home. This large magnolia came as a stunning surprise as it was in full bloom. The only flowering going on at ours is the bunch of peach branches brought indoors for forcing. Spring is a-comin’…

Magnolia tree