Food Box

The Tuesday Hawaii Farm Bureau Farmers Market at Blaisdell Center is as relaxed as some other markets are frenetic -- and you can still find your baby kale!

No crowds but familiar vendors

If the KCC Farm Bureau Farmers Market is a loud BBBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, the Wednesday evening Farm Bureau Farmers Market on the lawn in front of the Blaisdell Concert Hall is a hushed hmmmmmm.

You’ll see some familiar vendors — ‘Nalo Farms, Akamai Oat Cakes, Pacific Kool, Otsuji Farm (not just produce but oh, those sushi sliders!), Pig and the Lady, Zaratez tacos, Soul, and so on — and some with which you are perhaps not so familiar.

One such is Aloha Sweet Potato, the Japanese folks who make deep-fried, sugared sweet potatoes ($5) in a very clever presentation. They spiral-cut the potato so that it’s in one twirly piece, coat it with brown sugar, cook it somehow — they don’t speak much English — and then skewer it, upright on a long bamboo skewer. Cute. Pretty good eating, too, but you it doesn’t keep. And the chips are so sweet, one goes a long way between several people.

“It’s just what a market should be,” said Jan Morrow, who works at nearby Straub Hospital and pops over each week for a quick produce pickup and some takeout for dinner. “I think there’s a good balance, and no crowds like KCC (the Saturday morning market that has become a tourist haven, but also offers a pilot on Tuesday evening as an option to the Saturday morning market).”

That’s just what the Farm Bureau had in mind when they created the Tuesday option: a place where locals feel welcome and shoppers can maneuver freely and quickly.

The trick, says Dean Okimoto of ‘Nalo Farms and the Farm Bureau, is making sure enough people take advantage of the market to keep the vendors interested. Too many shoppers and it’s another KCC or Kailua. Too few and the vendors won’t find it worth their while. But the Farm Bureau has decided to stick with it.

Hawaii Farm Bureau’s Honolulu Farmers Market, 4-6pm Wednesday, lawn in front of the Blaisdell Concert Hall.