One of the great things about my job, and all the traveling I get to do, is grocery shopping in a foreign country. At my last post, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, so much was available, with fresh fruits and vegetables out of this world! Shopping was a dream and the prices were great. Here in Oman, so much is imported that the cost of everything is very high. The fun part comes when you read the cash register receipt and see where things come from. For example, today I shopped for vegetables and salad fixings to make a really nice salad for a dinner I'm going to tonight.
As you can see, everything is beautiful...fresh, great color and tasty. But the fun is finding out how far each of these things traveled to end up on my plate tonight.
- Cucumbers are from Oman
- Cauliflower is from Iran
- Bananas are from India (and they are not your standard peel-and-eat variety...very bitter!)
- Carrots are from Australia
- Tomato is from Oman
- Fresh beets are Omani
- The gorgeous red pepper is from Holland
- The lettuce is from Jordan
- And the huge sweet strawberries are from the U.S.A. And at $7.80, they better be good!
Such an international salad I'll have tonight! I have a garden of my own here and have been very successful in growing some things. I bought a tiny, 10", fig tree shortly after I arrived here in July 2010 and now it is about 10' tall and covered in figs. I hope some of them ripen in the next 49 days so I can enjoy one! I've also grown basil from seed and at one time, had 6 large basil bushes. The plants were so big and healthy that I was supplying the embassy cafeteria with basil and bringing it to work and giving it to my co-workers.
I have some small tomato plants now, and will harvest the first tomato of the season today. It will go on top of my salad tonight.
It's the size of a walnut but I'm sure it will be delicious!!