Perhaps you ventured to the Windward side to kayak the Mokulua Islands and get a taste of the Snowbama shave ice. As you head back to your Waikiki hotel, you remembered that you need some gifts to bring back home, but where would be a good place to go?

Shop for a new wardrobe, then pick out some fresh produce at the Windward Mall Farmers Market.

If this is your plan for the day (or your dilemma), then drive 10 minutes to Kaneohe and stop at Windward Mall. On Wednesdays from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m., Nalo Farms holds a farmers market that sells locally-grown produce and locally-made goods. Whether you’re looking for something exotic or something fresh, this farmers market is bound to place a “check” on your list of things to bring back home and satisfy any curiosity your taste buds might have about local foods.

As you walk around the market, most vendors offer samples of their products, and they’re more than willing to “talk story” about where it was grown, how it was grown and why it’s so unique to Hawaii. Even if the food isn’t native to the islands, it’s very likely that it made its way overseas and became a local favorite – or even a staple. For example, you can find Filipino food, like my favorite, pancit and lumpia, as well as Thai curries.

One of the exotic items you’ll find is the star fruit. Enjoy it here because you can’t pack it with you on the plane.

The farmers market used to be held outside of the mall, but recently, it moved inside to not only one level but two levels of the Macy’s wing. This is another perk of the Windward Mall market because, unlike other farmers markets that are held outdoors, you can enjoy shopping in the comfort of an air-condition building.

Other popular items to bring back home are jams and jellies that come in assorted flavors. My favorites are guava and lilikoi, which taste great on the freshly-baked breads you can also get here. It is simple to pack in your suitcase. Another great gift would be the homemade vinaigrettes and dressings. These would surely spruce up your typical salads back home with an island kick.

Photo Credit: Windward Mall

WINDWARD MALL FARMERS MARKET • Wednesdays 230-730pm • 46-056 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe, HI 96744 • www.windwardmall.com • Free parking in lot; near bus route

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