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    Sixth Annual Big Island Giant Pumpkin Contest

    The Sixth Annual Big Island Giant Pumpkin Contest will be held on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at the Waimea Town Market at Parker School (65-1224 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, Hawaii).

    Registration is at 9:00 AM, giant pumpkin weigh-in at 10:00 AM.

    More Information for "Tomato Tasting" and "Cooking With Pumpkins" on Saturday, October 4, 2014

    Tomato Tasting:

    The Tomato Tasting contest will begin at 10:30 AM. Registration opens at 9:00 AM.  You will be assigned a number so that the judging can be anonymous.

    Our tomato contest will be judged by a panel of chefs and other food experts. We will offer three ribbons (first through third) in each of two categories. Slicers (red and colored varieties, including heirloom) will constitute one category while smaller (plum and cherry type) tomatoes will make up the other.  Tomatoes of any color may be entered in the appropriate category. While we are aware that these categories do not cover the entire gamut of tomato shapes and sizes, we believe that the cover most of the tomatoes grown on the Big Island.  We do not have a category specifically for “heirloom” tomatoes because we feel that, in general, they compete with hybrid slicers in most uses, and should be judged for taste accordingly. On the other hand, we believe that the different uses (and taste) of smaller varieties necessitates a separate category.

    You may enter either, or both, categories, with as many tomatoes varieties as you like. However, you may not enter the same variety more than once.

    As farmers, we know that half the fun of growing vegetables on the Big Island is experimenting with what varieties do best and taste best in our own individual plots. Recognizing that, we don’t want to spoil that fun for others who might want to try their hand at growing tomatoes. Therefore, we do not expect entrants to share varietal information with us, nor with the public. 

    Please bring enough tomatoes of each variety you wish to enter for up to 15 adequate tastes. A “taste” should be enough for each of the judges to appreciate the full flavor and subtleties of your entry, about a quarter-inch slice for the larger fruit and a half or full fruit, depending on size, for the smaller ones.  15 “tastes” will provide the judges with enough opportunity to sample each entry two or three times, as they focus in on their top choices. Tomatoes entered in the contest should be washed, and “ready-to-eat.”


    Cooking with Pumpkins: 

    The Cooking with Pumpkins contests will begin at 11:00 AM. Registration table opens at 9:00 AM.  You will be assigned a number so that the judging can be anonymous.

    We will offer three ribbons (first through third) in each category. A panel of chefs and other food experts will judge the entries and their decisions will be final. We would love to share the winning recipes on our website so that all may enjoy the great dishes that are entered; however, we do understand that some of you many not wish to reveal your culinary secrets, so providing recipes is optional.

    Each dish entered must feature enough pumpkin for it to be identifiable. Pumpkin from any source is acceptable: fresh, canned, or frozen. Kabocha and similar squash count as pumpkin. Because we want to open this contest as widely as possible, there will be no advantage awarded for using fresh or local product (although, because we are involved in Big Island agriculture, we like the idea!). Wherever it is from, we won’t tell the judges!

    Generally speaking, a “main course” would be the principal item served at a meal; often, but perhaps not always, it includes protein. A dish without protein would probably be classified as a “side dish,” and would fall in the “Miscellaneous” category. The judges have the right to reclassify the category of a dish if, in their opinion, the dish fits most appropriately in a different category than the one in which it was entered.

     For better or for worse, beverages that contain alcohol are not permitted at Parker School. Maybe we’ll hold that contest after the market!

    Please bring enough of your item for 15 adequate tastes. Note that a “taste” does not need to be a full serving; however, it should be enough for all the judges to appreciate the full flavor and texture of your entry. Providing 15 “tastes” will give the judges opportunity to sample your entry two or three times, as they focus in on their top choices. We do not have available facilities to cook, reheat or cool anything at the Market, so please bring your hot or cold item to the market in an insulated container. 

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