Showing posts with label farmers markets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label farmers markets. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hawaii: Malasada Mondays and Other Tropical Tales

For the last month our weeks have started on a sweet note: Malasada Mondays ~ a lyrical combination that has brought smiles to our faces and – big sigh – added a few pounds to our weight.

Malasadas, a favorite treat in Hawaii, were introduced here in the late 1800’s by Portuguese laborers from Madeira and the Azores who came to work in the plantations.

Think donut holes – great BIG donut holes. Some served with a sugar coating and others sliced open and filled with melt-in-your-mouth custard.

The temptations were great
DSCF1618 We’ve been lucky this year as our Hawaiian home at KoOlina has begun hosting one of the many Farmer’s Markets that take place throughout this island chain.

Although teeny in comparison to most, our market brings one Honolulu baker who serves up loaves of Hawaiian sweet bread and rolls filled with tropical flavors like coconut and pineapple. (He doesn’t have a retail outlet, but similar treats can be found at Leonard’s in Honolulu)

One of our favorite things about this one-time-kingdom-now-state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is the diversity of people here and the customs and foods they’ve brought to this tropical paradise.

They came in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s as laborers to work in pineapple, taro, and sugar cane fields and related industries, from islands in the South Pacific, China, Korea, Japan, and Europe. Thanks to them bringing their foods and flavors from home, today’s Hawaii offers food lovers a feast of diverse culinary cuisine.

Hot and spicy - Korean vegetables

An editor of mine, many years ago asked, “Can you get American food there?” (Yes, he was serious. And yes, you can. Col. Sanders is serving up buckets of fried chicken while Quarter Pounders are being grilled under the Golden arches and Big Box pizza joints are making home deliveries.) But why would anyone come here to eat that food when there’s so many other 'Ono grinds' (good food)  just waiting to be sampled?

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Waipahu Saturday morning farmer's market - O-'ahu
SPAM, I am

Some foods though just call out ‘Hawaiian’ in our minds. For instance, SPAM. That canned meat product is so popular here they have an annual SPAM Jam Festival!

IMG_20150124_105645_777 More SPAM®, according to one of the conference sponsors, is consumed per person in Hawaii than any other state in the United States, which makes it somewhat appropriate for their signature food festival, which in 2015 takes place May 2.

SPAM® stands for ‘spiced ham’; a product introduced in 1937 by the mainland  Hormel Foods Corporation.  The food cube inside the can is a mix of ham and pork shoulder and now comes in low-salt, spicy and original (simply salty) versions. It is believed to have been introduced by the service men stationed here during WWII.

Its popularity continues to grow. There seem to be new variations available each year! Costco, the big box U.S. chain store, sells it here by the case.

Two key statistics in the SPAM Jam news release caught my eye:
* nearly seven million cans of SPAM® are eaten every year in Hawaii.)

* in the decade since it began, the Waikiki SPAM® JAM, has become one of the most popular festivals in Hawaii. More than 20,000 attend the annual event.

Shave Ice

My Hawaiian friends are offended if I compare a Hawaiian ‘shave ice’ to what we mainlanders call a ‘snow cone’. The premise is the same for both, shaved ice that is flavored with syrups of various flavors.  Apparently – it is the way the ice is shaved that can make this treat a true Hawaiian melt-in-your-mouth (pun intended!) version or a lumpy mainland version.  And a trip to the island of O’ahu isn’t complete without going to the North Shore for a stop at Matsumoto’s for shave ice.  Lines often wind into the street from the shave ice counter in this 1950’s wood-frame grocery store that now sells only shave ice, tee-shirts and souvenirs.

PicMonkey Collage
Matsumoto Shave Ice - an island favorite
Food Trucks:

And one can’t make a trip to the North Shore and not be tempted by the eateries that line the two-lane road through Haleiwa (a once-laid-back-surfer-town now teeming with tourists) While these photos were taken in Haleiwa, you’ll find food trucks tucked away in the most unexpected places around the island:

PicMonkey Collage
North Shore O'ahu Food Trucks
When you travel do you stick to foods that you ‘know’ or do you ‘go local’? Tell us in the comments below or shoot us an email.  Thanks for the time you spent with us today ~ hope to see you again soon!  "Malamapono a hue hou" ~ Take care until we meet again!

Linking up this week:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route 
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening
Travel Photo Monday - Travel Photo Discovery

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

TP Thursday: The “Other” Capitol Hill in D.C.

When you say Capitol Hill and Washington D.C. in the same sentence, one image probably comes to mind:

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But two weeks ago – prompted by a note I’d scribbled from an article in an in-flight magazine, and accompanied by my like-minded travel friend, Jill  -- we headed out to find the‘other’Capitol Hill; the one that is home to the Eastern Market, Washington D.C.’s oldest continuously operating fresh food market.

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The Eastern Market was established in 1805 by President Thomas Jefferson in the Navy Yard area.  In 1873 this market building was completed in the Capitol Hill area (several blocks east of the Capital Building) to serve as its home.  The market was part of a larger, city-wide market system that was created at the end of the Civil War, a time when city fathers were under pressure to get rid of the sleepy southern village image of the town.

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It was the first market built as part of a 1870’s public works program. The outside structures were added in 1937 to provide shelter for vendor stands that set up near the building's entry. (If you are thinking the building looks pretty modern for its age, that’s because it was badly damaged by fire in 2007, rebuilt and re-opened in 2009.)

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It was calm and relatively empty on the September Wednesday morning of our visit, a stark contrast to the weekends' hustle and bustle, we learned. The pace intensifies during the growing season when fresh food vendors offer their just-harvested produce for sale.

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Having been born and raised in Central Washington, (the “other Washington” on the West Coast in an agricultural area that proudly called itself ‘The Fruit Bowl of the Nation”) I found this stand to be a bit lacking in size and selection. On the flip side, it was fascinating because I’d never imagined produce being grown on ‘Maryland’s Eastern Shore’ before.

We spent a good deal of time admiring all the goodies that were on display – delectable and delightful:

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And then we set off to explore the neighborhood. These taverns and eateries are just across the street from the market’s main entrance.

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We strolled just a few blocks from the market and found . . .

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So many beautiful homes and gardens that we couldn’t take enough photos of them all.

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A stunning church, Christ Our Shepherd Church (801 N. Carolina Ave.) became the focus of our photo-fest. The building is a a stone Romanesque that was built in the 1890’s.

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There weren’t a lot of folks snapping photos because we seemed to have been the only tourists roaming the area that morning.  Our somewhat off-the-beaten-path outing put a heart and soul on Capitol Hill. I'll never again think of it only as the power hub of our nation’s government.

I’d recommend a visit to this charming neighborhood the next time you find yourself in ‘that Washington”.

If You Go:

The Washington D.C. Metro system is a  fabulous and inexpensive way to get to all of Washington’s popular sites.

To the Market:  Take either the orange or blue line and get off at the Eastern Market station.  As you emerge onto the street from the Metro tunnel,  follow directional signs to the Market, about two blocks away.

For more information on The Eastern Market, and the many activities that take place there, click this link to its website.

Thanks for stopping by! Today is Travel Photo Thursday so head on over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more photos!


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