Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kaua’i: Market Day

It turns out that on this Hawaiian island every day, but Sunday, is a Market Day somewhere. 

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Kaui Community College Saturday Market - Lihue
We generally seek out these temporary markets – often set up in parking lots, city streets or vacant fields - when we travel because they are some of our favorite places to meet growers and buy locally-sourced food. On this island we didn’t have to do any seeking; we were offered market schedules at check-in at both places we’ve stayed.

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This week we are in a condo on the island’s south side where there are any number of markets taking place. The photos in this post were taken at the Saturday morning market held weekly on the Kaua’i Community College campus. We arrived minutes after its 9:30 opening to find shoppers were already lined up to make purchases.

ManitoKauai2014 231Coming from the Pacific Northwest where a tropic flower stem can cost more than $10, you can probably understand our delight at finding entire bouquets for $7!

(A similar market earlier in the week in Hanalei on the island’s North Shore had them for $15 which we had thought had also been a terrific price.)

We’ll enjoy this $7 beauty for the rest of our stay. . .

In addition to flowers we came home with a bag of just-husked corn on the cob ($5), a bag of six heads of Manoa lettuce ($2.50), and a bunch of just-picked yellow bananas ($1) . The temptations were to over-buy. . .great prices and great products.

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Generally, one of our favorite travel tips is to shop at these markets because they are a great places to save money as well as to get  fresh foods.

That wasn’t the case at all the Kauai markets.

The farmer’s market at Waipa Ahupua’a Field in Hanalei on the North Shore had growers offering pineapples for $8 each and some with papayas at $2.50 each.  One couple, however, offered papayas  for $1 each with a “buy 2 and get 1 free” deal. . .and that’s where we bought our week’s supply. (Food prices at grocery stores there were also high.)

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Back on the South Shore, we did shop for groceries and adult beverages at Costco, the big box store in Lihue, where the price of a Hawaiian pineapple, was $3.50 and a box of five papayas $5.50. I can tell you the place was packed with locals and tourists during our Friday morning visit.

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Red ginger stems
There’s a two-hours-only “Gourmet Farmers Market” taking place on Wednesday at nearby Kukui’ula Shopping Village.  We were told there would be wine tasting and food available for purchase. So far wine prices at bars and restaurants have ranged from $14 – $35 a glass so we can hardly wait to see what the prices will be at the ‘Gourmet Farmer’s Market’ . . .

If You Go. . .

Kauai is the furthest north of the major islands in the Hawaiian Island chain.  There are direct flights from several U.S. West Coast cities, including Seattle. The North Shore is famous for the amount of rain that falls there; it’s south shore is far more sun drenched. Farmer's Market schedules are readily available.

Map picture

Linking up:
Foodie Tuesday @ Inside Journeys


  1. Oh my, Jackie, those colours on both the fruit and flowers are simply brilliant! I am not familiar with some of these exotic beauties and was wondering if the flowers in those $7 bouquets have a fragrance? I'm sure you and Joel indulged in your favourites and can still conjure up the flavours of the fruit in your mind!

    Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friend!


    1. No fragrance from these big beauties, Poppy. The small ones (like in Greece) the night jasmine perfumes the air, as well as pikake (tuber roses) and sometimes plumerias. We are down to our last papaya. . .the fruit frenzy is coming to an end as is our trip. . .sigh.

  2. Hello Jackie and Joel,

    Local markets are always a feast for the senses in so many ways. But, it is good to follow the trail of the local people when it comes to buying a bargain!

    The quality of goods for sale looks terrific and so exotic to our European eyes!

    1. Aloha Lance and Jane! Yes, we always think such markets provide a real 'flavor' of the community both in taste and traditions. Your European markets are hard to beat -- we absolutely adore them!

  3. I enjoy going to local markets, too. The Gourmet market sound like a real treat!

    1. Aloha Amy, Glad you enjoyed our market tour. The 'gourmet' market wasn't very gourmet (slices of pie for sale, dried bananas and other tropical fruit and kobe burgers) but it was a different approach to the traditional fruit market stands, that's for sure! Thanks for your visit - always appreciated!

  4. Such vivid tropical colours; I'd love to visit these markets. I'm a big fan of markets too but have never been to Hawaii. Dreaming.... #FoodieTuesday

  5. What a beautiful market, such vibrant colors. The prices are not bad at all. I love visiting markets when I travel -- especially when I recognize fruits I know. Those look like guavas, right?
    Thanks for linking up, Jackie!


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