With most people now changing their travel plans and staycations becoming the new normal, ethnic food markets offer an interesting oasis of tastes and adventures without the need to travel outside the country. Middle Eastern supermarkets in San Francisco, in particular, provide a kaleidoscope of foodstuffs from Lebanon, Qatar, and Bahrain to Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, and everything in between.
Shopping in Middle Eastern Supermarkets
Shopping in Middle Eastern supermarkets offers so many benefits. For starters, this is an excellent way to support smart businesses carrying unconventional and healthy foods you won’t usually find in traditional supermarkets.
Secondly, most of the products you can find in such markets have more robust and authentic flavors, all thanks to the ancient farming practices that have stood the test of time and the richer soil of the land. For example, Lebanon’s freshly harvested za’atar or olive oil produced from 1000-year-old Palestinian trees often have more fruity or peppery flavors than the usual supermarket brands.
Iran’s saffron is superior because of the suitable climate of the country for the cultivation of saffron. Likewise, Morocco’s cumin has a deeper and earthier flavor because of the warm Mediterranean climate.
Another notable advantage of shopping at a Middle Eastern supermarket is the larger selection of Arab food staples such as spices, roasted nuts, tahini, and grains such as freekeh and bulgur. The result is that these products, particularly Middle Eastern spices, have more flavor and fragrance.
Tahini is a complicated paste to buy since the flavor can become rancid and bitter before its expiration date. But since the local Arab populations buy a lot from Middle Eastern supermarkets, you can be sure that there is always fresh and new stock you can choose from.
If you are a bit unsure and nervous about trying conventional Arab dishes, you can try foreign condiments that provide a splash of exotic flavors. Date syrup, Egyptian molasses or pomegranate, and preserves made with figs or quince offer antioxidants and rich sweet flavors that surpass refined and processed sugar. Waters scented with mint, orange, or rose can brighten cocktails and lemonades with a more refreshing twist.
The extensive variety in Middle Eastern supermarkets will easily make you get lost and wander around for hours, checking aisle after aisle of exciting delicacies, something that once required you to buy a plane ticket first just so you can see and get your hands on these products. If there is a bread that you loved during your trip to Jordan, and ice cream you cannot forget when you visited Palestine, you might be lucky enough to find some of these in the nearest Middle Eastern supermarket in your area.
So the next time you need an ingredient to spice up your menu planning for the week, are looking for an exotic gift, or you want a fun day trip, be sure to visit a San Francisco middle eastern supermarket – Bakkal Delivery App.