Local Flavors Galore at the Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Arts and Crafts Fair
If you find yourself a little hungry while shopping at the Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Arts and Crafts Fair, just follow your nose. Outside of the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, you will find a big variety of vendors with something to tempt every appetite.
I cruised the snack and food booths several times before earnestly sampling. Once I started, it was clear that I had completely ruined my dinner, but I didn’t care. What a great variety!
Michelle Richter was furiously frying wontons over at her yellow trailer and busines, “Any Kine Wontons.”
“I’m so fortunate that my application (for Merrie Monarch) was accepted,” Richter said.
She has been in business for less than a year, and has clearly hit upon something delicious.
Richter’s wontons included local flavors such as Kalua Pig and Cabbage (Richter makes the Kalua pig herself), Sweet Potato Haupia, Spam and Green Beans, and Smoked Ahi with Cream Cheese, to name a few. She also has sweet selections such as Chocolate/Almond and Banana/Peanut Butter. Richter uses products from local farmers and fishermen whenever possible.
Over at Stacy’s Poi Balls, Stacy’s ‘ohana was busy frying delicious poi balls. They were also coated in coconut cream. Stacy, born and raised in Hilo, worked with her aunty to perfect her recipe.
The round, crispy balls were sold as fast as they could be fried. “Careful, it’s hot,” they repeatedly warned customers.
JJ’s Mini-Orbits fascinated me. Owners Terry and Janell, with the help of a really wondrous machine, crank out 2400 mini-doughnuts an hour. They need to – you should have seen the line of people waiting to buy them. I happily munched on the delectable doughnuts, mesmerized by the machine.
Still hungry? Check out the varieties of poke, fresh malasadas, refreshing shave ice, and kettle corn.
Want to take your snacks home, or buy gifts? Closer to the craft fair were vendors with packaged items (and more samples). The gals at “Sweet Patch” were offering all of those things I think I’m going to make . . . someday . . . but I never get around to it. They had gorgeous dipped pretzels, cookies, energy bars, cinnamon toasts, and the like.
There were also chips from Kona Chips and Blue Kalo Cookies, along with refreshing beverages and coffee.
The Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Arts and Crafts Fair runs through Saturday, April 2. Parking is plentiful near Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Snacking is encouraged.