Friday, September 5, 2014

Shopping...UAE style!

Hello all!

So, I have been shopping in Abu Dhabi, I've been to Carrefour (from England, I guess?) & Lulu's (both are like Walmart sort of, I mean, I'm NOT buying groceries from Walmart! But I will in Lulu's!)  Both have everything from scissors to washing machines to lettuce to cell phones! Literally 1 stop shopping!
This is the ceiling in the Farmers Market! Beautiful!

So, those are not the stores I am talking about.  Me and the kid went to Mushriff Mall, where Lulu's is located, but we walked in another door, not the one I'm used to.  And we saw a huge sign that said Farmers Market!  So we walked thru the extremely clean and sparkly glass doors and found three separate markets, meat market, vegetable market, and fish market.

The veggie market was awesome! About 20 stalls selling veggies, fruits, dates, and even spices! Ahhhh, the spices! You could smell them from 3 stalls away! Tumeric, chili powder,  paprika, ground white pepper, cumin, fennel, cardamom, sumac, aniseed, caraway, and a bunch of mixed spices called baharat which you can put on fish, fowl, beef, or camel! Yes, camel! The spices were in lose bins and you told the sales girl what you wanted and she would dish it out for you.  They also sold nuts and dried fruits.

All the veggie and fruit stands have the exact same thing, and when you walk by, they start saying, "hey ma'am, here ma'am, come see, here ma'am"  I had to shake my head and say no, no thank you, no, a hundred times! But I finally did buy the sweetest watermelon, some onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and butter lettuce and rocket! Me and the kid were so excited about rocket! We don't have it in USA but I watch MasterChef Australia and they have rocket all the time. After tasting rocket, however, I'm less enchanted. It is bitter!

I was a bit hesitant to enter the meat market, but the kid wanted steaks. Hesitant, because I mix ground beef for hamburgers with 2 forks! I hate touching and looking at raw meat! Yuck, yes, call me a whimp or whatever but who wants to see pieces of what used to have fur on it or, even worse, something that used to be on the inside of an animal! Yes, I would be vegetarian if the cooking meat didn't smell so good! And I didn't even venture into the fish market cus I knew better!

So we enter the meat market and at first, it was ok, there were stalls in two lines going way back ending at a wall also lined with stalls. The floors were of course marble and shiny. Near the entrance is beef, and it looks like what I am used to, cut into steaks and slabs of bloody cow with white marbling.  Not at all appetizing to me, but ok, I can deal.  Then we start getting into the scary stuff! The lamb stalls, and the goat, and the camel!  And also we pass the offal stall! Oh. My. God. Gall stones, and livers, and BRAINS! And there was a piece of meat, maybe a leg or hip, with a white ball of something sticking out! Not bone, it looked rubbery! Ahhhh, I couldn't even shop! I had to leave! At a run! I just had time to snap some gross pics and then ran almost screaming from the place! The kid rolled her eyes and said it wasn't that bad.  Wasn't that bad! Ackkk!

Can you see the lambs head in the back right?

That's lamb brains in the back!

Offal? Oh, foul!!
Anyway, I'm sure you cooks are saying, looks yummy to me! But, I can't...I just, ugh!  Maybe the abundance of food and the different spices and smells will encourage the kid to cook, because, if I have to buy stuff out of the cellophane, we will starve!

Ciao for now!

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