We have quickly discovered that our food doesn’t last as long as it did back in Canada and we’re in the grocery store at least twice a week, sometimes more. That must mean it’s fresher with less preservatives right? This last trip to the grocery store I took a few more photos to give you an idea of what we’re working with here. The grocery stores we have been going to, namely the CarreFour and Sharjah Co-op, have a fairly western setup offering a lot of the same things you would see in any grocery store in Canada. The isles are loaded up with a lot of the same, familiar things we see at home except labeled first in Arabic and then English.
I have been impressed with the taste of the familiar items we have brought home so far. As if they are some how better than how I remember them tasting. Though I am not certain if this reaction is real or more like something I am going to call “Camper’s Palate”. Camper’s Palate is what you get when you enjoy eating a certain kind of food out in the wilderness that you would otherwise not put in your cupboard let alone your mouth. So far Mac’n Cheese (not even the box kind), granola and instant oatmeal are my best examples of this. Simple foods such as eggs, cheese, pasta, bread, and peaches are a few items that I have found I enjoy more here so far.
I just have to give my two cents about eggs. I love farm fresh eggs. Only the last few times to the store have I really looked at what I was grabbing. Either we have just been drawn to the same packaging, or all the eggs here are farm fresh. I’d be interested to know if the latter is true as most of the eggs in the grocery store back home are… different. Thinner shell, bright yellow yolks…I’m not quite sure what makes those eggs different from the harder shelled, orange yolk, incredibly full of flavour “farm fresh” eggs, but they are.
There are several different types of milk. You can get “full fat” or “low fat”, “Long-lasting” or “fresh”, plastic jug or box. As far as fat content, full fat is like whole milk, and low fat is not. Long-lasting milk is reconstituted powdered milk, and it tastes like it. It does however last longer than the fresh milk by quite a bit (I haven’t actually tested how long).
A lot of prepackaged fruits and veggies are labeled just that, “fruit” or “vegetables”. This makes interesting trying new things as in some cases I’m not exactly sure what I’m eating. Though in the new CarreFour that just opened at the mini-mall the produce is labeled with the proper name of it’s contents (hopefully).
James and I got “brave” at our last outing to the grocery store and brought something home that we had absolutely no idea what it was. All we did know was that it was chocolate flavoured so how bad could it be. The item is called Halawa. From what I can find (thanks Google) Halawa is Arabic for “sweet” and is also known as Halva. It is a sweet confection known in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Jewish world. It is typically made up of nut butter or Tahina (sesame seed), sugar, cocoa (in this case), citric acid, soapwort and artificial vanilla. It has a dry, crumbly texture that I can only describe as what might result if you smashed up a bunch of Oreos. It can be eaten on it’s own, on bread or I imagine it would even go well sprinkled on top of ice cream. Now if only I could get some ice cream home without melting it.