Monday, December 27, 2010

Culture at the Market

Greetings from Margaret W. Miyake, visiting family in Honolulu

"Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture," wrote Mark Kurlansky in Choice Cuts. Food reflects the cultural influences in a community. Scotty’s breakfast sandwich, Juan and Maria’s empanadas, Manuela Noble‘s tacos, and The Pirogi Guy’s variety of pirogies reflect Southern, Latin American, Mexican, and East European cultural influences in Rochester at its Public Market.

At the KCC Farmer’s Market in Honolulu, spam musubi, fried rice, and ahi poke reflect Japanese, Chinese and Hawaiian cultural influences.

Hawaii is a cultural crossroads where Hawaiian, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Korean, Mexican, Filipino, French, Vietnamese, Samoan,“American” foods are often combined to create new dishes like spam musubi or ahi poke.

Poke is the Hawaiian name for cubed fresh fish (often ahi which is tuna) seasoned with a variety of ingredients such as green and white onion, limu (seaweed), sesame oil, kukui nut, sea salt, ginger, soy sauce—usually not all at the same time!

Spam musubi is the Hawaiian version of a Japanese rice ball topped with a slice of fried Spam and wrapped with a sheet of nori, the toasted seaweed used for sushi rolls.

Fried rice is a Chinese version of rice sautéed with onion, shrimp or other meats, vegetables and often seasoned with soy sauce or oyster sauce.

The KCC market is a connoisseur’s as well as an epicure’s delight of colors, smells, and tastes, reflect the many cultural influences in the islands

The KCC Market is under the auspices of the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation. It is open on Saturdays from 7:30 – 11:00, on the Kapiolani Community College campus.

“The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation (HFBF) is a non-profit organization of farming families united for the purpose of analyzing problems and formulating action to ensure the future of agriculture thereby promoting the well-being of farming and the State's economy.

  • "The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation (HFBF) was organized back in 1948 by a group of farmers on the Windward side of Oahu. It was then that the very first Farm Bureau meeting was held.
  • "In 1950, the HFBF was formerly incorporated and has grown into the present statewide organization consisting of approximately 2200 member families in ten counties located throughout the State.”

Crossroads of the Community

Crossroads of the Community

Where in Rochester can you find fresh cardone, collards or daikon, sold by the farmers who grew them? Hear people speaking Russian, French or Vietnamese along with English and Spanish? See old friends and meet new ones? Shoppers and vendors from all ethnic, social and economic backgrounds gather every week, year round, to buy, sell and socialize at the Rochester Public Market, the crossroads of our community.

Crossroads of the Community: Rochester Pubic Market, a photography exhibit by Margaret W. Miyake, will be on display at St. John Fisher College, Lavery Library from January 7 to February 25, 2011. The public is invited to the opening reception and talk on January 20 from 5 – 7 PM.

Miyake has been photographing at the market since 2006. She has also photographed several of the farmers at their farms. She has exhibited her work at the Community Darkroom, the High Falls Gallery, and the Link Gallery at City Hall.