As I approach the Kauai Culinary market, the first thing I notice is the sound of live music. I find myself asking, is this a festival or a farmers market? Well, it is touted as a gourmet farmers market and now I know why.
As we enter, I see a man wielding a machete. He is skillfully husking coconuts wile his partner spears them with a straw and hands them out to passersby. My son and I enjoy the show. I sample a chocolate dipped dried apple banana an then buy some amazing lettuce and fresh herbs from the organic farmers table. I taste some fruit I’ve never heard of; it tastes like cinnamon and brown sugar. I then score the last half dozen of multicolored eggs from a local farmer.
I’m now closer to the music and stop to enjoy it for a while. The musicians finish the set and announce the chef demonstration will be beginning shortly. I notice that the area where the chef demonstration is taking place is cordoned off and then the see that they are serving wine. This is my kind of farmers market! My four-year-old spots a large glass jar with pink liquid that turns out to be homemade strawberry, lemongrass, lemonade with mint. It disappears before I can pay for it.
Chef Helen of the Hanapepe Café is demonstrating how to make Carrot, Coconut, Lemongrass Bisque Recipe. She passes around a Kefir lime leaf to familiarize the audience with its unique aroma, before describing how to make the base for the soup. Of course she also passes around samples of this amazingly fresh concoction and wows the audience with its unusual bouquet of flavors.
The audience is asking where they can get all of the ingredients so they can attempt to recreate it at home. Turns out all of the ingredients can be purchased from the vendors and at market and Living Foods Market located at the other end of the mall.
Meanwhile, my son is tugging at my leg, he wants to see what else is available. We return to the market and sample vanilla lilikoi jam on a cracker and pass by the most amazing assortment of pies I’ve ever seen.
Then my son spies the homemade pasta, a perfect match for the pesto I was planning to make with my fresh herbs. He wants the squid ink pasta because it is black but we settle on a mix of kale and tomato curls.
We are delighted to see all the locally made foods, spices, coffees, jams and even fresh baked goods. The music, the chef demonstration, and the samples made the event relaxing and enjoyable, quite a contrast from the sunshine markets where you must arrive promptly before the bell rings and are strictly there to purchase your fruits and veggies.
I would highly recommend attending the Kauai Culinary Market. It happens every Wednesday from 4pm-6pm in Poipu at The Shops at Kukui’ula. Check out other Kauai Farmers Markets island-wide