Ala Moana or KCC Farmers' Market?
They both list that they are open on Tuesday's from 4-7pm. How do they differ? Is one better?
I am visiting for the week (not around the weekend). I plan to visit Haleiwa Farmers' Market on Thursday (same group that runs Ala Moana).
Please note that the Haleiwa Farmers' Market is not in Haleiwa, but down the road a bit in Waimea Valley. I'm sure you saw that . . . but many don't seem to notice.
The AlaMoana, Haleiwa, and Hawaii Kai market will mostly be the same vendors, so if you are doing the Haleiwa market on Thursday, then I would plan on doing the KCC market on Tuesday, mosly the same vendors as the Saturday KCC market, but fewer of them.
In general the Saturday KCC market is the biggest and best regarded of the bunch, but I see that you can't make that one. The Kailua market is good, and the NBC and Mililani markets are growing in popularity. The KCC Tuesday market is the newest of that group (Farm Bureau.)
There are also the People's Open Markets, generally smaller and more seasonal. http://www1.honolulu.gov/parks/progra...
Finally there are the 'asian' markets in Chinatown, open daily, Such as Oahu Market. http://www.chinatownhi.com/?q=node/22
Be warned, many of these markets do have bargains, but much of it is also more expensive than what you find in the supermarkets. In general the quality is higher and the food is probably - but not always - fresher.
Not sure if you have come and gone yet, I went to the Tuesday Farmer's market at KCC for the first time yesterday and was surprised how small it was, less than two dozen vendors, about half prepared food, half fresh foods. Still I was able to find everything I wanted except fresh spinach, and I'm not sure if I would have found that at the saturday market, I don't remember seeing it before.
I got some baby kale, some mixed herbs, fresh corn, zucchini, long/asian eggplant (they also had round), and some cinnamon macadamia nuts. I already had enough salad greens, onions, and bell peppers. The bell peppers yesterday weren't all that and the assortment of tomatoes pretty slim, but hey, it's February.
I was tempted by some golden beets, won bok, bok choy, choy sum, watercress, some beautiful purple basil, 'okinawan' sweet potato (purple when you cook it) tomatoes (full size and grape.) I'm not a big papaya fan, and the pineapple didn't look that special but was probably good. Because I was going out to dinner afterwards I didn't check out the prepared foods as well as I would have otherwise, but i saw people tailgaiting in the parking lot and the selections looked good.
Fresh spinach was available from at least two vendors at KCC on Saturday, small tender trimmed spinach leaves bagged for $2 (or $2.50?) from Pit Farm. Otsuji Farm had larger untrimmed bunches but had already gotten my spinach fix from Pit, so didn't check the price. Some vendors also sometimes have what is usually called Malabar Spinach, which I have tried but don't like...often seems sort of slimy when cooked.
I prefer the tender young trimmed bags from PIT, but have enjoyed Otsuji's version as well...probably a better value but demand more attention to cleaning well.
Otsuji also sells at Ala Moana on Sat morning, but with less variety than KCC, and they have rarely had spinach there. Don't know if they are at either venue on Tuesday.
Thanks M, good to know.
I don't often buy spinach as it's on my list of things that could give me another kidney stone if it eat it too often - especially raw in a salad which is how I like it best. One stone was enough thank you. I'm making vegetarian lasagne tonight, I'll use the kale instead. I've got a little bit of leftover spinach from a week or so ago, i'll just toss that in as well.
Hmmm...wasn't aware that it might contribute to a kidney stone... hope I can continue to enjoy it without that problem developing.
The kale is sure a good choice...have been seeing more and more of it, and enjoying it in different ways. The tender ones go into soups and stews, and have used the large, sturdy leaves of Tuscan (Lacinato or Dinosaur) to make garlic-kale chips...wonderful snack. I see the same thing in stores for $10 a package...about $2 worth of kale and a bit of time in the kitchen for twice as much.