Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sea Asparagus

The farmers markets here are not quite up to par of those on the mainland and I really miss some of the ones in California and Virginia.  Despite that, I still like to attend and browse.  In Hawaii, I typically just buy vegetables from these markets (though I do plan to venture out into the tropical fruit world soon) but there have been some fun purchases mixed in as well.

The first being really really soft and chewy cinnamon bread.  The hubby thinks it would make great French toast but I think I would have to let it get a bit stale first so it doesn't get soggy.  I am hesitant to try it because I am not a great French toast maker.  One day I will be a master of French toast, but until then, I will save the poor cinnamon bread from torture.

Another fun purchase we made was sea asparagus.  The hubby pointed out a stall that was letting people taste pickled sea asparagus and thought it would be something I would enjoy.  So I went over and tried it.  It was good but it didn't really hit the spot until I tried the fresh, unadulterated sea asparagus.  I had the hubby try it, thinking it would be something he would like, despite it being called asparagus.  I was right so we purchased some to take home.

Sea asparagus is crunchy and salty.  In fact, it's salty enough that you can't eat very much of it at once if you eat it plain so we have mainly eaten it with vegetables.  With a green bean and tomato dish I made, I just cut it up into small bits and threw it in at the last moment to add some saltiness to the dish.  When I topped some fresh tomatoes with the asparagus, it had been sauteed in olive oil with some pepper.

The sea asparagus we bought is grown by Wenhoa Sun at a hydroponic farm on the North Shore.  (I actually have a special fascination with hydroponic farming.)   It does grow wild in mud and marshlands around the world, including Australia and New Zealand, though I don't know how common of a food it is in these countries.  Instead of boring most of you, those of you that are interested should check out this post on Food Gal.  Carolyn, whose blog I just found tonight through a Google search, actually visited the farm and discusses what she learned.  It's quite intriguing if this sort of thing is up your alley.

Not only is sea asparagus tasty, but it is suppose to be quite good for you as well, so it is a purchase I plan to make again.  The next time though, I need to remember to ask the vendor how to tell when it is going bad.  If you look closely at the picture above, there are many dark spots on the sea asparagus.  The hubby said he would eat it anyways, and it tasted fine, but I plan to ask them next time just to clarify.  It is certainly a purchase I plan to make when we have guests visiting since it would be something unique for them to try.

The market we now attend has a few vendors selling one of my favorite things:

I am a bit of a lemonade fanatic.  The one above was pretty good and came with a mason jar (jars being another fascination of mine the hubby is still trying to wrap his head around).  I also tried a strawberry lemonade from another vendor.  It wasn't anything great but before I give up on them, I have to try their blueberry lavender lemonade.   Who knows, it could be earth shattering.

P.S. Just in case you are wondering, the best lemonade I ever had was at Oren's Hummus Shop in Palo Alto, California.   I continually crave it.  A review of this place is on my list of things I never got around to blogging about but always planned to.  I think I might just have to get to it this week since I am now full on craving their food.

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