Food Box

Choppin’ it up

One of the great things about European produce markets is the chance to find veggies on the verge of ready-to-eat–cooked (like potatoes), de-choked (as in artichoke) or prepared in some way that makes meal prep simpler. The home cook can cut out a few steps and make dinner more quickly without loss of quality. The vendor, after roasting, juicing or in some way speeding up meal preparation, can charge a higher price for that convenience.

While we don’t have a lot of this kind of practice offered in our farmers’ markets, perhaps our agriculturists and cooks would consider adding value to things we do have in relative abundance–like lilikoi juice freshly squeezed and deseeded, ready for use in drinks and desserts; grilled corn on the cob; roasted sweet potatoes or red peppers; cooked taro chunks.

This last staple is already available under the Makaweli Poi label, from Kauai. This taro has been cleaned, skinned and cooked, ready for use in salads, breads and other delicacies. You can find it at Kokua Market, Fresh Catch and several Foodland and Times Supermarket branches.