Grocery Shopping

4 Sep

Cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, tumeric, sumac, caraway, aniseed are among the most common spices used in middle eastern cooking. At grocery stores, spices can be bought for a few qirsh (cents) per kilogram — very cheap.

Juice is also extremely popular in Jordan. Even the Almighty Wal-Mart doesn’t compare to the wide variety of juice blends available here. Guava nectar is my favorite so far!

I think prices for food here are fairly comparable to those in the U.S. We have been to 4 “big” food stores:

*Carrefour (a Wal-Mart-esque, stand alone place that sells groceries, house stuff, school stuff, tool/car stuff, and even mattresses — we got ours from there)

*Miles (a cross between Whole Foods & Harris Teeter, this store is upscale from Carrefour, and is located on the ground floor of Mecca Mall — this one’s my favorite so far)

*Cosmo (a Kroger/international foods grocer that is full of foreign shoppers and foreign imports — I was most impressed with their cereal selection because they had all our favorites, but I felt like I wasn’t in the Middle East because of all the Europeans)

* Safeway (that’s right, former Marin county dwellers, only, don’t picture the Strawberry Village décor – I found the produce here to be my least favorite, plus the store is far from our apartment)

Brewed “American Coffee” is not in high demand
here. Instead, we have found a huge selection of instant coffee including Starbucks (how ’bout that, Beth?), Nescafe, Folgers, Maxwell House, and other brands. While I’ve enjoyed trying these little packets of instant, I think we may have to invest in a coffee pot eventually…and figure out where we can buy whole coffee beans.

(Side note to our family, Marie, Jenny, Rick, Jamie, and whomever else we get a chance to visit over Christmas break:  we would love a cup of “fuh-real” brewed coffee!)

To Phillip’s delight, even Skippy Creamy Natural Peanut Butter can be purchased in Amman for a mere $6.00(!)  While there are plenty of products, seasonings, herbs, sauces, and brands that are unfamiliar to us, I don’t anticipate the task of cooking in Jordan requiring as much creativity as it did in Japan.  I mean, at least I can identify 95% of the fruits and vegetables here!  While my Arabic vocabulary still only amounts to 15 words or so, I feel that the grocery stores and I are on our way to becoming BFF.

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4 Responses to “Grocery Shopping”

  1. Jamie September 5, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    Oh yeah, Skippy!!! That is all we eat now!

  2. Jenny Duckworth September 5, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    The grocery store is always my favorite place when I travel. In the midst of all the weird stuff, you can usually find a few things that make you really excited and like the world really isn’t so big after all. And if you stop by over Christmas, I will brew you all the legit coffee you want, and some good’ole Southern food to boot!!

  3. Sarah September 20, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Hey! I am in Amman right now, and I am in desperate need of natural peanut butter. Do tell, where did you find skippy natural and how do I get there!!
    Thanks :)

    • philliprachelstokes September 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

      We found Skippy Natural Peanut Butter at Cosmo. It’s about 4JD there.

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