It’s beginning to look a lot like Ramadan…….
With Ramadan less than two weeks away, it’s beginning to look like it. Well actually it started about 3 weeks ago, most notably in the food retail sector. I thought I would share a little of what its like here as Ramadan approaches……
If you walk into a grocery store, whether the small neighborhood stores or the big modern supermarkets, you see signs of Ramadan.
Huge pyramids of products that are eaten/purchased during Ramadan tower high above you.
Some of the things that are considered Ramadan products (though are sold year around, just not in such extravagant displays.):
This was the first thing I noticed go up. Although Quaker oatmeal is sold here, it’s more expensive than the Saudi/Middle Eastern brands that you typically see stacked up. A can of the Saudi produced runs about $1.00 – $1.50. I had intended on posting pictures of the store displays but sometimes the personnel get a little paranoid or something…..so I have taken some pictures of some of the products that I have purchased.
Again, these are sold year around, but they also have large displays of these this time of the year.
Mishmish sheets. (Apricot). They kind of remind me of a thick “fruit rollup” that is sold in the states. In Egypt, my first experience with this was a drink (called Qamr al deen) that was made from putting the pulp in water and letting it dissolve. I mention this on TJ Ramadan’s Recipe page: http://tjramadan.talibiddeenjr.amanahwebs.com/ramadanrecipes.htm and have another recipe for a pudding made with the mishmish sheets. My kids like eating it plain as well.
Again, sold year around but I guess lots of yummy Ramadan goodies are made with it so the displays are even larger than usual.
Also, on the street (and in stores) you will see larger than usual candy displays. Typically many smaller grocery stores will set up a mini store outside of their store that sells candies, nuts, etc.
In the grocery store, you will see many products that come with a free Ramadan gift such as a dish or bowl. Last year, after Ramadan I bought a huge can of powdered milk and it came with a pot with a deep fryer basket.
Typically sold only during Ramadan (though I have spotted some “out of season”) these are fried up by street vendors and restaurants. They are a triangle shaped filled pastry. For recipes and pictures, see TJ Ramadan’s Recipe page: http://tjramadan.talibiddeenjr.amanahwebs.com/ramadanrecipes.htm They usually start selling them the first day of Ramadan right after asr.
As far as non-food items, last year I remember some stores put up lights, but I notice most of the signs of Ramadan are food related, either for suhoor or iftar.
I hope to post a few stories about what its like during Ramadan here, so insha Allah stay tuned……