If you love tourist tat and local crafts, you’ll love the Maui Swap Meet. They’re open every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and admission is only 50 cents per person. I dragged the hubs there in hopes of finding some carved wood puzzle boxes and getting some fresh local coconut and sugar cane juice. We saw a lot of ‘hand-carved’ tat, but realised after one loop around the market that most of the tat on offer was made in bulk and not by local artisans.
In addition to tourist tat and crafts, there were several stands selling food, fresh produce, and flowers. We had such delicious fresh fruit at Rusty’s Market in Cairns I was hoping to find the same in Maui. There was only one stand with coconuts but no sugar cane juice to be found, which was odd considering there were endless sugar cane fields all over the island.
But I suppose all you need is one coconut stand and I was lucky to get one with a lot of fresh creamy coconut meat and what seemed like a bottomless supply of coconut water. Hubs also had a lot of juice but was not so lucky with the meat. I wish we had fresh coconuts here — I can’t stand the taste of the tinned milk or water, but I do love the fresh stuff! I also came across a stand that sold one of my favourite wild vegetables (if you can call it that).
Pohole ferns (fiddlehead) are used in salads but seem to only be found on menus of finer dining establishments here, which is a shame because it is SO tasty and grows in abundance on the island. When I told mum of these precious gems she had a good laugh as she used to harvest these in the mountains of Taiwan when she was a wee girl.
Hawaii is famous for its beautiful plumeria and hibiscus trees but I’ve never seen such magnificent ginger flowers before — apparently they last ages and also grow in abundance on the islands. Sadly, we couldn’t take these home with us but I did come away with two beautifully ‘hand-carved’ island wood puzzle boxes.