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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Market Basket
Tomatoes are Hiraoka Farm specialty

By Joan Namkoong
Advertiser Food Editor

An assortment of the lettuces, beets and tomatoes from Hiraoka Farm.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

Lucy Hiraoka's Waimanalo family farm has been in operation for 40-plus years, growing vegetables and flowers just a few blocks from the well-known Nalo Farms. I met her the other day at her table at the Manoa Farmer's Market, where crops include microgreens (baby shoots packed with flavor), specialty lettuces, arugula, okra, bok choy and beets (white, red, chiogga and yellow).

Best of all, she has vine-ripened tomatoes: Roma, yellow cherry, grape and regular tomatoes and, soon to come, black tomatoes. Mind you, these are not perfect, beautiful specimens like the Kawamata tomatoes from the Big Island, but Hiraoka Farm tomatoes are flavorful and tasty. And they're only 75 cents a bag, with each bag weighing at least a pound.

The Hiraoka table is just one of many vendors at the Manoa Farmer's Market at the Manoa Shopping Center, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. It's a fine spot for finding fresh island papayas, pineapples, bananas, soybeans and other locally grown vegetables. And it's the place to go if you're looking for Kahuku corn, which is now in season.

Instant cheesecake to bake

Cheesecake in a box is the newest mix offering from Betty Crocker. Add melted butter to the graham cracker crumbs for the crust; add cream cheese, milk and eggs to the packet of mix, bake for 35 minutes in a pie or cake pan and you have a pretty decent tasting cheesecake. Original, chocolate chip and strawberry swirl varieties are available in most supermarkets for about $4.

Food editor Joan Namkoong filed this report although she's on leave of absence until the end of the month. Send shopping queries and new product information to: Market Basket, The Honolulu Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802. Fax: 525-8055. E-mail: islandlife@honoluluadvertiser.com. Or call: 525-8034.