There are endless things to do in Hawaii. If you go on a cruise or with a group, you’ll have most of your activities planned out for you. In case you don’t, or you find yourself wondering what to do with your free time, you must make time to visit the farmers’ markets. This is my all-time, absolute favorite thing about the islands. Sure, everyone talks about the beaches and the snorkeling, the volcano tours and the historical landmarks. But a visit to the market is a fantastic way to eat delicious, fresh local food and get to know a little more about the authentic way of life in Hawaii.
The farmers markets are organized by the Hawaii Farm Bureau and they run just about every day of the week. With such a lush environment, I’m sure you can imagine some of the wonderful food that grow in abundance on the islands. The first time I saw a real avocado I nearly fell over! I could barely even eat half of one in a sitting. There were coffee beans grown just minutes away, fresh seafood, and succulent tropical fruits like pineapples and papayas, macadamia nuts and vegetables. And don’t forget about the hand-made goods!
I love fine food and always try to learn as much as I can about local cooking customs when I’m traveling. Whether I’m on a cruise or traveling by myself I always make it a point to pick up a recipe or a few special ingredients to take home with me. Here’s an orange lime sauce recipe that I picked up at the market. It’s delicious with fried seafood, on barbecued chicken or whatever else you can imagine up (hint: it goes especially well with macadamia-crusted shrimp or halibut!).
Orange Lime Sauce
- 10oz jar marmalade
- 3 tbs mustard
- 1 fresh lime, juiced
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir and let the sauce reduce as much as you like. Enjoy!
Even if you’re visiting Hawaii as a group or on a cruise, the markets are a great place to pick up healthy snacks for your days of sightseeing. There are markets on all of the islands. Pick up a schedule of dates, times and locations and visit the markets and talk with the locals to learn about some of the islands’ history and secrets. If you’re lucky, they may even tell you about a secret beach that only the locals go.
Carol Atkins is a Group Travel Leader with YMT Vacations.