Sunday, July 4, 2010

Middle Eastern Grocery Shopping Adventures in Montreal


Montreal residents are very lucky to live in such a culturally diverse city.  Every time we visit, we are enamored by the vast number of Middle Eastern markets available here, all specializing in different things.  My absolute favorite supermarket I've ever been to is in Montreal as well, a small chain called Adonis.  It's a magical place.  Not only does it sell fresh produce, great meats and cheeses, and other common super market items, but it boasts some that I'd never find at my local super market.  There are TONS of Middle Eastern ingredients, far more than any "International Aisle" at an American market.  I even saw quail eggs sold here, and I'm pretty sure those are only available in the US in specialty markets.  I've never seen them myself, but maybe I'm wrong.  In any case, it's a lovely place.  My parents tend to rush through this Mecca, so they can quickly get in line and get out.  I, on the other hand, would prefer to take my time, but alas, they aren't here for me.  They're here to stock up on all their favorite Middle Eastern canned and jarred goods they can't find as conveniently or cheaply on our side of the border.


Almonds! You have to peel open the fruit to get to the almond inside :) 


TONS of grains and legumes...

Jarred ethnic foods, spreads, picked items, etc


I also love how the French language just makes everything sound so much fancier.  This is a sign for an Armenian shop that sells Armenian sausages and such, but it's advertised as Charcuterie Armenienne, WAY fancier than I'd describe it, haha.


Among our shopping today some of the items I'm most excited about are some dried squid ink spaghetti, which I can't wait to play with.  I know I could make my own, but I've never used squid ink before, and I hear it stains :) This will be safer.  We also got some Halawa, which I LOVE and haven't had in many years.


Finally, we scored ourselves some sesame seed candies, which I enjoyed very much as a child.  My grandparents would give them to me and my sister when we were being fussy to quiet us down, and would say "soos" which basically means, "shhhh" or "quiet" in Armenian. At the time (for some strange reason) we referred to candy as "lala" and so these sesame seed candies became endearingly referred to as "soos lala" and the name stuck.  Ours were smaller, rectangular, and individually packaged in clear plastic twisted at both ends.  These are square, but I imagine the flavor will bring me right back!  I can't wait to have some.  I think later this summer I will try making them myself.  They are essentially sesame seed brittle candies, and seem pretty easy to make.  It will be a great tribute to my grandparents if I can recreate them myself.



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