Fruits Galore

Fruits in Hawaii

Fruits in Hawaii

After spending two incredible weeks in Hawaii, I miss the island life. It’s not just the weather that I miss but it’s access to fresh and exotic fruits such as rambutan, yellow dragon fruit, white pineapple, lilikoi, papaya, apple banana, ice cream banana and cherimoya.

When we were on the Big Island, we frequently visited the farmer’s markets and eagerly picked up fruits. It was a bit like a treasure hunt, looking for our favourite, mine being the yellow dragon fruit and my wife’s papayas. In between, we were picking up rambutans, star fruits, passion fruits which they call lilikoi’s (3 for $1) and a new fruit that we recently tried, the cherimoya.

Last year, our visit to the Big Island introduced us to the sweet tasting yellow dragon fruit. Unlike the pink dragon fruit that is sold in Canada and is awfully bland, the yellow variety is full of sweetness. The meat is white with black seeds and has the same texture as the kiwi fruit. ($5 per pound and is worth every penny of it.)

This year, we tried the cherimoya which is the green fruit pictured in the right hand corner. Cherimoya’s range in size, from a small tomato to a small watermelon. They need to be soft and almost mushy before eaten. When sliced open, the cherimoya is white with black seeds which are to be discarded. The meat is like custard, smooth and silky and really, ¬†really sweet. Almost like honey sweet. The meat is custard like and you can almost eat it with a spoon. Its origin is not from Hawaii but from Brazil. Same goes for rambutans where the origin is from Thailand. (4 for $1)

On our second week, we flew to Kauai and found all the farmer’s market locations. Lucky for us, there was one happening every day but in different parts of Kauai. There, rambutans were plentiful and fresh as can be. The freshly picked rambutans are soft and sweet, unlike the ones that are imported from Thailand and sold in Canada. Have anyone tried the white pineapples before? If not, try one next time you run into one. We did and was pleasantly surprised that a white pineapple is less acidic.

Apple bananas and ice cream bananas were also new to our palettes. Super sweet and firm. Now, do you know why we miss Hawaii so much?

Coco Karamel

Choco Caramel

Coco Caramel

Aljores is the name of an Argentian dessert that you have to try when you visit the Kingsland Farmer’s Market. Or as we have learned, are now available at Sunterra Markets. Aljores looks like shortbread cookies sandwiched and feathered with coconut flakes. The filling is actually dulce de leche, a creamy, sweet decadent treat.

You can buy one or a pack of 6, mix and match different flavours but the traditional one is the best.

Kingsland Farmer’s Market

Kingsland Farmer's Market

Kingsland Farmer’s Market

If you’re looking for a good walk on a Saturday morning, head over to Kingsland Farmer’s Market on Macleod Trail before Heritage Drive. There’s plenty of parking and lots to buy and samples to try. Twenty years ago, it used to be a Buick dealer. The reason I know that is because I used to live in the apartment block just north of the market and I almost bought a Buick from there. Now it’s converted to a farmer’s market that is open only on weekends.

The market is organized in open stalls, selling fresh vegetables from local farms, handmade chocolates, pastries, desserts, wines and butcher cuts of meat.

The Community Natural Store has a stall that sells popular books, along with a selection of goods from their Chinook and downtown 10th Avenue stores.

Watch for some future blogs on specific vendors that we encountered and enjoy.

Field Stone Winery – Fruity wines

Field Stone Wines

Field Stone Wines

On our first visit to the Kingsland Farmer’s Market on Macleod Trail south, we discovered an Alberta winery that specializes in making fruit wines. Field Stone is the first business who was granted a licence under Alberta’s new cottage winery regulations. ¬†When asked about their location, they said they were situated near Strathmore. All their wines are made from 100% Alberta fruit. Almost 90% of the fruit are grown on the orchards near Strathmore.

Head out to the Kingsland Farmers Market from Thursday to Sunday and try out their wines. Try their fruit wines which ranges from dry to sweet. Or if you have sweet palate, try their dessert wines, especially the blackcurrant and raspberry.

Last week, they had a special where if you buy the Raspberry Fruit Wine at the regular price, you can buy the second bottle for 20% off. We asked about the dessert wines and they said the offer will be for the dessert wines. They will alternate throughout the summer with the different fruits, so here’s your chance to stock up on some delicious wines that are made locally.

We’re stocking up for Christmas stocking stuffers. I know it’s a long time from now but I think they will age nicely.