Pink Oyster Mushrooms to mango abound in Poipu

POIPU — One shopper wanted to know why there was no gold in Kalaheo Wednesday.

“Because they have so many ‘Silva,’” he said, laughing as he nestled the last bunch of pink oyster mushrooms from Keith Silva of Lawai Valley Mushrooms. “This is the last bunch and it’s good as gold. This is good because you can use some of it to start more, just like green onions.”

Silva, who also vends at the Kauai Community Market at the Kauai Community College, said Wednesday was only his third appearance at the Kukuiula market, and he has sold out of his pink oyster mushrooms each time.

Pink oyster mushrooms are one of the many edible varieties of mushrooms available at specialty shops, natural grocers and farmers markets, states the About Gourmet Food website.

A cooking tip offered by the website suggests a short saute of pink oyster mushrooms, also known as the flamingo mushroom, in butter, or olive oil. It can also be briefly grilled or broiled. Pink oyster musroom has a delicate, earthy flavor with a soft, chewy texture and goes well with seafood.

Camille Pak Chong, a market coordinator for The Shops at Kukuiula, said there are several new vendors who have set up shop, one being Silva, and another being Haole Girl (Croissants du jour) who was busy filling orders as fast as she could.

“This is absolutely amazing,” said Judy Capertina, a former pastry chef, who set up Haole Girl, recently. “We were at the First Saturday night in Kapaa, following our regular appearance at the Kauai Community Market at the Kauai CC. This is only our second week here in Kukuiula and we do more business in two hours, here than in four hours at the college.”

A first-time appearance proved too short for sisters Kaylee and Laakela Fernandez, who had a supply of Hayden mango, either ready-to-eat, or ready in a few days, available for eager shoppers who wiped out the girls’ supply in short order.

“We wanted to make some summer money for the summer,” Kaylee, 10, said. “You know, for going to the movies, or whatever.”

The Shops at Kukuiula, host of the weekly Kauai Culinary Market in partnership with the Kauai Farm Bureau, will also be overlapping its weekly market with the upcoming Koloa Plantation Days celebration.

A historic Plantation Days exhibit will open on July 22 at 6 p.m. and will remain on display for the week. During the opening night, a film will also be aired starting at 7:30 p.m.

During the Kauai Culinary Market on July 24, the theme of the chef’s demo will shift to Plantation Cooking in line with the week-long celebration of the plantation-era lifestyle.

The Kauai Culinary Market meets each Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. with entertainment and the chef’s demonstration at The Shops at Kukuiula.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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