Savouring Arabian Flavours

Yes, you can comment on the spelling above if you like (different versions of English) but that is not what this post is about. Several months ago, Dr. H and I visiting the United Arab Emirates for the very first time. I looked forward to food – the different kinds of spices and sweets that we might encounter.

On one of our very first days in Abu Dhabi I came across one of the finest date stores in the Gulf Region, Al Bateel. Dates are individually wrapped, or packed in gold boxes and come in ways that I never imagined: filled with almonds, orange peel, covered in chocolate… They are quite possibly one of the most perfect treats that can be found in the area. And luckily, there seems to be no shortage.

Back in February, as we were about to leave we also discovered Al Nassma chocolates. They claim to be the first and finest camel milk chocolates. Since I have never tried any other, I will agree that they are the finest. At first they taste like dark chocolate – a high end quality chocolate. But then there are additional levels of complexity (to quote my nine-year-old nephew) that emerge. The chocolates are quite simply sublime, and not to be missed. Luckily we found an Al Nassma boutique in the middle of Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates last week, so we stocked up.

Speaking of camels, we decided that we needed to find out about the actual milk. In one of the local grocery stores we came across several small bottles of camel milk in three flavors: original, chocolate, and saffron. While I thought the saffron might be interesting, that was placed back on the shelf and chocolate was taken along with the plain milk.

But camels aside, what impresses me the most are the spices and dried nuts that can be found in the regular grocery stores…

I am so looking forward to having a proper kitchen…

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