Friday, August 1, 2014

Artisan Cheese and Awesome Honey from the Kaka'ako Farmer's Market

I just got back from a fabulous 2-week vacation in Hawaii and as I'm currently suffering from massive jet lag, please excuse me if I start to get weird. I promise I'll try my best to stay coherent.

Before my trip, I used to have chronic insomnia and had a difficult time trying to get to sleep before 3 AM! Now? Well let me tell you I've been getting up at 4:30 in the morning and by 8:00 PM, my eyelids are forced to shut for the day. Even my mother sleeps later than I do now. Seriously!

Well, enough talk about my sleeping pattern and let's get to what I really want to share with you today. As I just mentioned a few seconds ago, I was in Hawaii for a couple of weeks and one of my favorite things to do during my visit, is to spend some time at one of the many local farmer's markets that happens throughout the week.

Although I usually head over to the one over at KCC (my go-to farmer's market in Hawaii) on Saturdays, I decided to instead walk over to one that was within walking distance to my hotel as my feet were hurting me from jogging, my new morning routine. As I detest jogging, let's see how long that one lasts.

The farmer's market at Kaka'ako is located right in the heart of Honolulu city at the Ward Center. And although it's smaller and not as well-known as the huge one at KCC, I like that it's less crowded and I appreciate the laid-back atmosphere that's so conducive to a relaxing Saturday outing, which is exactly what I was looking for. The sun was out in full force and it was definitely a hot ( and extremely humid ) day.

I love walking around checking out what's on offer and the selection there is pretty impressive. I was pleasantly surprised to see more vendors than I expected, many I've never seen at other farmer's markets before. 

From fresh-off-the tree papayas to just-picked avocados, everything at this particular market is grown and made locally. Not only can you find all sorts of fresh produce, but the offerings include food items such as artisan breads, cheesecakes and local plate lunches. 

The farmer's market isn't just about the food. It's also about the people behind the scenes. The vendors are friendly and usually more than happy to chat with customers. 

During my visit, I met this friendly lady that runs a local dairy on Oahu. They focus on making artisan cheeses as well as an assortment of delectable flavored butters. According to her, Naked Cow Dairy, is currently the only company that makes cheese and butter in the state of Hawaii. 

We got to sample some of their cheeses and amazing butters and I am happy to report that they were quite tasty. The variety on offer were all incredibly fresh and even with my finicky taste buds, I enjoyed all of them.

Their assortment of butter was a good mix of sweet and savory, with something for every taste. My favorite among the butters was the Tropical Toasted Coconut. It was simply, OMG amazing! Seriously!!! As soon as the butter hit my tongue, my brain went into overdrive and started to come up with all the possibilities!

I mean just imagine making a coconut cake with this butter! Or how about slathering it on a stack of fluffy pancakes? Or if I'm having a super lazy day, I could just spread it on my morning toast with a drizzle of organic honey! Hell, I could just eat it out of the container. Seriously it was that good!

Their selection of cheeses weren't bad either and as for my favorites, it was a toss-up between the crumbled Feta and the Havarti, two of my favorite cheeses in the world!

If you ever have the chance to visit the Kaka'ako Farmer's Market, make sure to stop by their shop!

Another vendor that caught my attention was Hawaiian Fresh Farms, selling local raw honey. I've been looking for some so this was perfect, especially as these were some of the best-tasting honey I've ever had in my life. I ended up buying two jars to take back home to Japan. 

One week later, I'm back home in Tokyo, and I can barely wait to open up the jar of honey. Here's my jar of Hawaiian Fresh Farms' raw Lemon Ginger Honey. I'm saving the other one ( Cinnamon Honey ) for later.

I decided to drizzle some of this beautiful honey over my bowl of granola, some plain yogurt and freshly cut pineapples. Even before I take my first bite, I already know how good it's going to be. Mmmm...

This morning's breakfast is simple, yet oh so good! Of course I could've eaten this without the honey. But a drizzle of fragrant lemon ginger honey from Hawaiian Fresh Farms elevate this humble bowl of granola into extreme awesomeness!

Useful Links:
Kaka'ako Farmer's Market
KCC Farmer's Market
Naked Cow
Hawaiian Fresh Farms

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