A horn previously cut through Hawaiian humidity before dawn to mark the market's start. Now it's 7:30 a.m.
According to the sign in front of the Kapi’olani Community College parking lot, the legendary Saturday morning KCC Farmers Market opens “at the sound of a horn,” and it might as well be race day, since so many people charge the stalls throughout the morning that casual observers might mistake the scene for the starting line of a marathon. However, the crowd finds a flow by mid morning, and vendors who are lucky enough to secure space in the market that Dean Okimoto, Joan Namkoong and Conrad Nonaka founded in 2003, contribute to one of the best selections of produce and prepared food of any farmers market in the U.S.
Big Island Abalone, which Hiroshi Arai farms at NELHA on the Big Island, offers three BBQ Abalone for the damn near charitable price of $7.
Naked Cow Dairy co-owners (and sisters) Monique van der Stroom (pictured) and Sabrina St. Martin started making cheese in August, including feta and Big Cream, Little Rind.
OnoPops co-founder Josh Lanthier-Welch, who founded a “farm to stick” popsicle company with brother Joe, sold us a Porky Pop ($3) of creamy avocado, crispy candied pancetta, cracked black pepper syrup and a hint of Tahitian lime.
Kukui Sausage Co. sold links on sticks or in buns, including Kimchee, a juicy Portuguese sausage spiced with kimchi; Pastele, an herbaceous Puerto Rican sausage made with pork, green bananas, onions, cilantro, cumin and oregano; juicy Italian made with marjoram, caraway and fennel seeds; and denser Chorizo made with vinegar, garlic and oregano.
Grandma’s Kitchen made fresh strawberry mochi ($6.50) featuring strawberries from Kula, Maui, wrapped in red bean paste, served by Keith Luke.
Pacifikool ginger drinks included Pineapple Ginger ($3.50) with Hawaiian ginger syrup, pineapple juice, lime, mint, and still water; Passionate Ginger ($3.50) with Hawaiian ginger syrup, passion fruit, Thai basil, and still water; and Ginger Cooler ($3) Hawaiian ginger syrup, lemon, sweet basil, and carbonated water.