Saudi Arabia’s grocery stores are very well equipped and are stocked like stores in Canada. The grocery stores we frequent are Tamimi (subsidiary of Safeway), Carrefour (French Supermarket), Panda, and Lulu. Each store has a great selection of products from around the world and carries a wide variety of the same products and brand names available at home. The cost of groceries is about 10 per cent higher than Winnipeg, but if you do your comparison-shopping and look for sales, it’s about the same cost.
If you love nuts, raisins, and of course dates, you have come to the right place. Each store has a nut/spice/sweets section that, to me, is a confectionary dream come true. Dates can be purchased almost any way you can imagine. The fruits are amazing! Each week, I try a new fruit and that has been a very interesting experience. So far, my favourites are Mangosteens (wonderfully sweet), Rambutan, (very succulent), and Jackfruit.
For me, each trip to the store is a new adventure in the fruit aisle. Canadian staples are available throughout the store. The only thing missing is the pork products. To make up for that, most markets have a fresh fish section and carry many exotic types of fish. If you love to cook or love trying new foods, fasten your gastronomical seatbelt and prepare for the ride of your life.
Rick Fowler (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)