Maui, Hawaii

Tag: farmers market

Upcountry Farmer’s Market and hot sauce

I’ve been meaning to check out the upcountry farmer’s market for a while now. It’s a Saturday morning event, I’m not sure what time it starts, but do know that it ends around 11AM. My mission – to replenish my stock of HI Spice hot sauce.

Yes, HI (the abbreviation for Hawaii) Spice hot sauce is locally made small batch hot sauce. The owners live in Kihei, their commercial kitchen is in Wailuku (as a side note – I’ve picked up from their kitchen before – it smells divine). You can buy their sauce online and at a few local stores – the Maui Tropical Plantation has it, as does 808 Bistro in Kihei, and I’m told someone at the Shops at Wailea carries it too… but it’s cheaper when you can buy direct ($10 vs $15 at the stores).

Upcountry Farmer’s Market
Saturday morning upcountry farmer’s market

From Kihei the drive will take about 40 minutes. When you come up the Haleakala Hwy, continue on the highway until the Long’s Drugs intersection (just past Carden and King Kekaulike high school). Turn right, then take your first left and find parking. The farmer’s market takes place in a parking lot past and to the right of Long’s. There is some street parking, an empty field. Please don’t park in the store parking lot.

This upcountry farmer’s market is different from the ones in Kihei. Yesterday there were 40+ vendors, many claiming to sell organic or no-spray fruits and veggies. You can buy orchids, hot foods, kombucha and many other foods and drinks I’ve never heard of. You will also find more eclectic vendors – a few years ago there was a ‘Gothic’ veggie stand, yesterday two younger men had a Temple foods stand. I still wonder how one raises Gothic vegetables, but maybe I don’t want to know.

Yesterday I was a woman on a mission, with little time to spare. I found the HI Spice stand and bought five bottles of my favorite hot sauce. They have various kinds but my favorite is their Smoke Scorpion hot sauce. If you like hot sauce, you’ve got to give it a try! Yum.

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What is your favorite Maui coffee?

Maui coffee
coffee beans courtesy of Olinda Organic Farms

Have you sampled your way through Maui coffees? We have a number of coffee growers and roasters here on Maui, and I suggest that when here you give them a try. After all, Starbucks will still be there when you get back home. But in the mean time, you may discover a new favorite coffee, and you’ll have fun searching for it while on vacation!

Yesterday was the 9th annual Statewide Cupping Competition. I have never made it to one of these, though I think – as a coffee lover, that would be really cool to go see. This year’s took place at the Maui Tropical Plantation here on Maui.

This year’s winner in the creative category is a local coffee grower/roaster in Olinda – Olinda Organic Farm. I just checked out their website, looks like they may only sell at certain Farmer’s Markets, but do contact them and see what they say.

Which Maui Coffees to try

I’ve written about coffees in the past, if you type coffee in the search bar on my blog, you’ll come across a number of them. I love Maui Oma’s coffee, if for no other reason than the name (Oma means Grandma in German). Grandma’s Coffee House up in Keokea on the way to the Ulupalakua Ranch has some great home grown/roasted coffee (with delicious deserts to go with it). Kula Botanical Gardens is a new one I discovered this spring – though it was quite a dark roast (I prefer medium).

Costco carries some nice local roasts, though likely not as fresh as the ones you’d get directly from the roaster – my current favorite at Costco is by Kauai Coffee Company. My husband Sig was at their farm on Kauai this past May and brought home a bag of their freshly roasted beans (so delicious). Interestingly this past spring Costco in Western Canada was carrying this coffee also. I discovered this when visiting my cousins in Edmonton!

I’m curious – which is your favorite Maui coffee? Where did you buy it? I’m always interested in trying something new!

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Spring Activities in Wailea

It’s spring and the Wailea Community Association has sent out their latest newsletter concerning spring activities in Wailea!

Here are some highlights!

Restaurant Week Wailea is next week! Twice a year a number of restaurants offer a 3 course prix-fixe menu (prices vary between $29-$59/person plus drinks, tax and tip). It’s a great way to try out a new restaurant at a reasonable price. This year there are 21 restaurants participating. Check here for the list of restaurants and menus! You do NOT need a ticket or coupon, but reservations are recommended!

WaileaThe Wailea Film Festival is coming! This year it takes place June 21-25, 2017. This is theater under the stars! What a great place to watch a movie, mingle with some stars and take in some special events. For more information, check out their website. Films have not yet been announced, so do check back on their website for more info!

A new farmer’s market at the Shops at Wailea! It will take place every 2nd and 4th Wednesday, starting June 28th 4-6pm. Look for ‘The Market’ on the main floor in the courtyard at the Shops. Remember, the first hour of parking is free at the Shops, after that make sure you pick up a parking validation from one of the many shops and restaurants.

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It’s Mango Season!

Have you ever had a juicy tree-ripened mango? Be sure to find one when you come to Maui!

mango
our mango tree

When we bought our house, we planted a dwarf mango tree. Somewhere along the line the tree forgot that it is a dwarf and has been growing like crazy. After its first five years in our yard, this year we have a deent crop of mangos. If only they were ripe.

For some reason our tree ripens about 2 months after others here in Kihei. However, the good news is that the mangos don’t all ripen at once but rather over a 3-4 month time period. Perfect! We have several months to enjoy our fruit.

Did you know, some people are allergic to mango skin? It has the same chemical compound as poison ivy. If this is you ~ I feel so sorry for you!

Since my mangos are far from ripe (it’ll be another month or two), I’ve sourced mangos from a friend. They are delicious. If you are in Kihei and would like some, I can tell you where to find them. He sells them for $2/fruit (cheaper than Yee’s which is $3.50/mango). Please, don’t buy your mangos at Costco or even the grocery store… treat yourself to a local-grown tree-ripened mango! You won’t regret it!

How to cut a mango

First set the mango on end. It is a narrow long pit so you cut parallel to the fruit.

mango
slicing into the mango

Cut alongside the pit on both sides.

mango
here I am holding the piece with the pit

Score each half of the mango, then push in at the center while pulling the edges down. You can either eat it like that, or slice the mango cubes off the peel.

mango
here you can see one half scored, the other half has been ‘pushed out’. In the back is the piece with the pit (cut the fruit around it)

Lucky me ~ I enjoyed this delicious breakfast candy this morning! Only two mangos left…

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Upcoming Maui Events

On Maui and looking for something to do? It may be low season on Maui, but there is lots to do! Here are a few upcoming Maui events you may want to check out:

The annual Maui Onion Festival had been announced to be on for this May, but I am not seeing any information on it at this time. Whalers Village in Kaanapali has been undergoing a renovation, so it could be the venue isn’t ready on time.

Also, remember the Maui Swap Meet takes places every Saturday 7am-2pm at the University of Hawaii Maui Campus (across from the MACC).

And yes – we do have spring availability at our condos!

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Maui Gold Pineapple

I’ve heard from a number of people that pineapples bought here on Maui are better than the ones bought ‘back home’. Why is that? I always thought it was just because they’re harvested ripe here, but didn’t realize that, as with other fruit, there are different varieties of pineapples. I guess this shouldn’t have been a surprise.

Maui Gold pineapple labelOn Maui we are lucky to have the Maui Gold pineapple variety. If you haven’t tried it yet, do! It is less acidic and somewhat sweeter. It is grown right here on Maui by the Maui Gold Pineapple Company. No, they don’t hold the exclusive right to this type pineapple, but they grow a lot of it. The Hawaii Business magazine has an interesting article about Maui Gold Pineapple Company, and how it has come back from the brink, scaled back and revived itself.

Where can you find Maui Gold? The easiest place is the local grocery store – Safeway, Times, Foodland and Costco, they all carry Maui Gold pineapples. So do many farmer’s markets.

Curious to learn more about pineapple farming? You can take a Maui Pineapple Tour!

Cara's baby pineapple
baby pineapple growing – spectacular coloring

How do pineapples grow? A few years ago I experimented and planted a Maui Gold pineapple top. It grew to about 4 feet in height, 2 feet in diameter and looked like a giant pineapple top! At about the 12 month mark, the plant developed a pineapple bud in its center, which then grew into a full-fledged pineapple. Four months later we harvested our large Maui Gold pineapple – that’s right, 16 months to grow one pineapple! Ours had a crooked crown which I suppose it would have been considered ‘flawed’. The next year the plant grew two more baby pineapples (they were roughly a third the size of the original pineapple).

Cara's pineapple
our homegrown Maui Gold pineapple – with a somewhat deformed crown

For blog entries and interesting pictures of our pineapple-growing progress click  the ‘Cara’s pineapple’ tag on the right side of this blog.

How to choose the perfect pineapple? I look for fruit that is yellow and smells like ripe pineapple. How about you? What is your trick to finding the perfect pineapple?

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What is lilikoi and how do you eat it?

cut lilikoiHave you seen lilikoi at a local farmer’s market? They come in different colors, yellow, red and purple, and are a type of passion fruit. They grow on a vine.

You want to select lilikoi that look shriveled and have some give when you squeeze them. In fact, the more shriveled they are, the sweeter they will be. The lilikoi in this picture look beautiful, but are very sour. Ideally they should sit out on the counter for a few days to shrivel. With this fruit the uglier the better! But beware, leaving fruit on the counter can attract ants.

How do you eat them?

  • slice them in half and scoop out the seeds and juice with a spoon. The seeds are edible, just a little crunchy.
  • strain the seeds out and drink the juice – there isn’t much juice to be had, you’ll need a lot of lilikoi.
  • cut a papaya lengthwise, scoop out the papaya seeds, then fill the cavity with lilikoi seeds/juice. It gives your papaya some extra zip!
  • enjoy it in gelato (one of my favorites), cheese cake, alcoholic drinks, lilikoi butter etc.

One of my neighbors introduced me to pineapple lilikoi fruit salad. This really zips up your pineapple… It’s really easy, cut up your pineapple and then add the seeds/juice of a lilikoi or two. You may need to hide the seeds to get the kids to eat it. But the result is amazing. You would think tart lilikoi and tangy pineapple would result in more tartness, but the two flavors kind of mellow each other out. It really is a great flavor!

lilikoi and pineapple

lilikoi pineapple salad
pineapple with one lilikoi mixed in

Have you ever wondered how to cut a pineapple? Here are the instructions from the Maui Gold pineapple label. These work really well. Maui Gold pineapples are grown right here on Maui!

Maui Gold pineapple label

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My breakfast candy…

Our mango tree has been blessing us with about one ripe mango a week since July. Why is it still producing fruit four months after it started? I have no idea. It’s not like we’ve had that many mangoes to begin with, maybe 30 in all (the tree is just 5 years old). But we have been enjoying every single one (okay, we shared a few, but not many).

This afternoon I picked about 7 of them as they seem to be ripening more rapidly now. I am very curious to see if the tree will bloom again in February like it did this year. I know Sig has big plans for pruning it… I am dead-set against it. These mangoes have been amazing.

our home grown mangoes

Where is the best place to get mangoes? I would go to a farmers market and carefully sniff your way through them til you find some that smell mango-ey. That’s my rule of thumb with most fruit – if it doesn’t smell like the fruit should smell, why bother? Yee’s Mangoes on South Kihei Road (just a little North of Longs) has amazing mangoes – and you will pay accordingly, but they are the best.

How to cut a mango? I wrote about that a few months ago – check it out (with pictures). It’s super easy!

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Yummy mangoes!

It’s mango season on Maui. Yummy delicious sweet mangoes.

My friends emailed the other day – their huge mango tree is full of fruit, do I want some? Ah… yes!

Here’s a word to the wise…. do NOT buy your mangoes at Costco or any of the other grocery stores. You will be disappointed. They are not tree-ripened and not nearly as sweet and juicy as these.

Instead, get them at a farmer’s market. There are daily farmer’s market (Mon-Sat) at Aloha Market Place (across from Starbucks on S Kihei Road) – Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri is an organic vendor, Wed and Sat is a different (cheaper non-organic) vendor. Another farmers market in North Kihei next to the ABC store is open Mon-Fri. Saturday morning there is also an organic market on Lipoa (by Fabiani’s). Yee’s Orchard across the street from McDonald’s has amazing mangoes (it is a grass shack with the occasional peacock strolling through). And of course, Saturday mornings is also the swap meet in Kahului on the university campus.

I learned a new trick: how to cut a mango. I find them so finicky and messy, this makes it easier!

First, slice right next to the thin oblong pit.

Repeat on other side of the pit. Then score the fruit. From experience, you want small sections (rather than large).

Next you invert the fruit, gently pushing up the bottom, pulling the edges down.

But it is quick and easy to eat! You can either cut the juicy mango right off the peel, or just eat it like that (not the peel obviously).

Enjoy!

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Time for Baby Bananas!

Guess what I found in our yard this morning? A pod of baby apple bananas. It hasn’t opened yet, we won’t see the baby bananas for a while yet and it will take even longer until they are ripe.

The burgundy pod in the center is where the baby bananas are hiding.

But that’s okay. I can wait. Maybe the neighbors will share theirs in the mean time…

Our neighbor’s apple bananas.
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