Where I Shop | Saudi Arabia & Bahrain
I am often asked by my local readers and friends alike, where on earth do I find half the items I require to create some of the gourmet raw dishes I like to make here in Saudi Arabia (and Bahrain as we are so close to shopping in Bahrain, plus the range tends to be much better).
Whilst the one thing that remains the same is the inconsistency of items we are able to find here, I’d love to share my latest shopping destinations which of course are subject to change due to availability. I last wrote about them here and here.
So I don my abaya and this is where I hit up:
Lulu in Khobar: is usually my one stop shop to get almost every kind of fruit or vegetable you could imagine. They have a huge range of local and imported produce and every now and then I will find my beloved rocket/arugula or bagged baby spinach and young thai coconuts. The only thing I cannot find there usually, is fresh basil. Here you will find:
- GREAT range of fresh produce included green leafy vegetables (rocket/arugula, spinach and herbs)
- Small organic fresh produce section
- Small international section (UK/USA) where they stock some organic nuts and seeds
- Asian ingredients (sushi rice, sushi rice vinegar, rice paper rolls for the Vietnamese rolls I made here
- Vegan meats, jerky’s and cheeses (sometimes)
- Organic frozen vegetables and fruits
Tamimi Corniche Khobar:have a smaller range of produce but sometimes a larger range of greens. Also have a great organic packaged pantry food section, where I tend to find organic herbs and spices as well as more unusual grains and seeds like buckwheat, quinoa and aduki beans
Organic Plus: – a recent new addition to my grocery musts. I ventured out there last week to find a wonderful range of organic packaged foods like hemp seeds, flax, gluten free pastas, agave and nut butters as well as a limited range of organic fresh produce, usually from Lebanon. I tend to steer clear of organic produce in this part of the world as anytime I have bought it, it has spoilt before I’d had a chance to use it, but if I buy a small amount for immediate use it is just fine. Apparently they stock organic local dates also. For non organic produce items I just make sure I do my best with veggie washes.
This weekend – Friday – I will be taking part in a farmers market on the compound, the first one of it’s kind, which is designed to bring local organic farmers to the people (some of which we didn’t even know existed) and hopefully if it’s successful, it will occur every month. If you’d like more information regarding the markets click here [Farmers Market Flyer]
Jameel Store (whom I assume supply to mainly hotels, restaurants and large companies) is where I pick up some commercial kitchen supplies as well as some more usual kitchen gadgets (they had julienne peelers for making vegetable pasta like I filmed about here).
GNC: Probiotics and other vitamins and supplements
Bahrain Geant: Usually I find, coconut oil, almond butter, seaweeds, grains like aduki beans, quinoa and millet etc and raw bars here, but also I tend to find these superfoods too. These products can also be found in Carrefour at City Centre.
Carrefour at City Centre: Usually the same as what is available at Geant, so if if am heading to City Centre mall I usually stock up there instead of making the special trip to Geant. I find that once one store has a certain item, you can be guaranteed the other will. I guess that is how shipping to the island country works.
Al Osra: this is where I find some terrific organic fruits and vegetables and I usually stock up on bags of fresh greens like baby spinach and mixed leaf salad as well as organic baby carrots, apples and other produce staples. They also have earth balance margarine (tastes just like butter but is organic and vegan), ezekiel bread (apparently ordered in especially for one of the princesses) and rolls in the freezer and vegetarian frozen meals like Linda McCartney pies and sausage rolls (nice for a treat!) They are renown for stocking western recognised brands.
Nature Valley: a health food store and cafe stocking supplements, superfoods and oils, plus a range or frozen organic foods.
It is encouraging to see that things are slowly beginning to change here (I’ve even heard the compound commissary is started to stock more organic and vegan items), and as they say in Food Inc we can vote with our dollar (or Riyal or Dinar) everytime we shop. So let’s start being more demanding and our suppliers with provide!
Just keep in mind, as I mentioned above, all of these places are subject to change .
For unusual to find ingredients like spirulina and chlorella I tend to order these online at Amazon or wait till I have a trip to the West and buy up large and bring them back home. Vanilla extract is also something you cannot find anywhere here (possibly the alcohol content). I usually buy that up elsewhere tooShare on Facebook