The Fruit Stand
May 12, 2013
Today I realized I was out of one of my staple foods – banana’s – which I use for morning smoothies. So I headed over to an excellent and secretstand that exclusively stocks perfect apple at 1/4 the price of anywhere else. Normally, local bananas are anywhere from $1.29-$2.29 a pound in shops. At fruit stands they are often picked too green by unknowledgable owners in an effort to make them last long enough for someone to buy them. Unfortunately, they are then worthless as an edible because they will never develop to full sweetness when picked so young. But the best stands are all run by experienced fruit sellers so it’s easy to get delicious ripe fruit once you know where they are.
The bananas at my favorite stand are picked to textbook ripeness: when the first banana in the bunch is yellow, it’s ok to cut it down from the tree. I can pick up a case worth of greener bananas that will be ready for the end of the week, then get yellow, freckled ones for immediate eating from my favorite farmer at the local famer’s market. His bananas are perfection – they are an apple banana variety that are a little larger, usually about 5-6 inches, very fat, and always perfectly yellow, a day or two from freckling, and without any bruises. For all you non 811 readers, this is the kind of info that low-fat vegan’s (aka: 811’ers) love to hear!
This stand also happens to be on the same road as the moss for terrariums I make for a local farmers market every Saturday, and sell to a few local boutiques.
My smoothie this morning: wild bananas for .50 cents a pound and local Hayden mango’s I got for a dollar per mango – a very rare price as they are usually $4-5 each. Most are shocked to hear that fruit is actually quite expensive here. That’s because everyone wants fresh fruit when they come to Hawaii, naturally and with over 100k people passing through every month, there’s enormous demand. There’s plenty of land and everything grows here, but only a handful of people who own land in Hawaii have much interest in growing food commercially. Also, there is no cheap, third world labor force because we are a very remote island. This makes the cost of growing and harvesting quite high. The only answer if you live here is to grow your own, planting enough to feed yourself and family. Should you have surplus, you can get a great price for it.
My smoothie prep, above is a daily morning routine. Though I lean towards juicier fruits in the morning like melons or oranges, I still enjoy banana smoothies. The last few days have been a banana base with one or two mangos and when they’re in season, (they’re not right now), fresh dates as well. A delicious way to get enough calories in early in the day!