Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Meat and Fish at the Sultan Center

It doesn’t take long before you live in a country long enough that you don’t see with the same eyes as when you came. Last week, as I was shopping, I was looking for something to fix for dinner. Normally, I just see something and grab and go, but my attention was caught by how expensive everything was, and then again, by the fact that American ground beef was twice as expensive as New Zealand ground beef, and both were really really expensive – it’s ground beef!

I’ve been careful about meat ever since I read Deadly Feasts about ten years ago. The book is a medical mystery, it traces the identification of Mad Cow Disease, and how vulnerable we all are. The human variant takes ten years to develop – all because tainted meat enters our food supply, because meat producers are too greedy to pass up a cow who is stumbling and falling down.


Even those who keep it out of the human food chain often process fallen cows for animal food.

And none of that has anything to do, really, with this post. The point is, for once, instead of rushing by, I was paying attention. When you pay attention, you start to see things (again) (or for the first time.) Here, you see things routinely that you don’t see in the United States:

Lamb’s brains:

Lamb’s heart:

Sheep’s feet:

Fresh Quail:

Kuwaiti Shoom:

Saudi Shrimp (these look big, but Kuwaiti shrimp, in season, are even bigger, and the sweetest shrimp you have ever tasted):

Iranian Squid:

Nuabi (a fish caught locally)

I love Kuwaiti seafood, and this is the one I love the best of all, Kuwaiti Zubaidi:

For those of you in the US, you can multiply the prices by four for an approximate idea of how much the food costs in dollars. The dollar is slipping here, as everywhere else, prices are going up, and we are taking the double whammy.

The seafood is out of this world. Even though expensive, local caught seafood is about what we would pay for seafood in the US. Vegetables IN SEASON can be reasonable. When I want iceburg lettuce, I pay about $3/ head. I have wonderful friends who are sharing their bumper crops of vegetables this year, and oh! they are SO good, so tasty! One of my friends has tried some heirloom tomatoes, and they are doing well!

March 17, 2008 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Books, Bureaucracy, Community, Crime, Customer Service, Diet / Weight Loss, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Shopping, Social Issues, Technical Issue | , , , ,


  1. The rising prices are taking over us all! WOOHOO!!!
    I miss Super Target!!!

    Comment by Chirp | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. is there anything in the poor sheep and lamp that they dont eat!?!?!??!?!?!?! luckily i dont like seafood and dont eat any of the other stuff, but my dad was also complaining not long ago about the rising prices of fish

    Comment by Fonzy | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. stop shopping at sultan centre!

    lol the shrimp at KD2.500 a kilo is just nuts, lulu does them for about kd2 a kilo.

    its not just teh price increases, sultan has been getting away with highway robbery for years.

    oh and local lettuce is less than 500 fils 😛

    sultan does make good bread tho 😛

    Comment by sknkwrkz | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  4. Lower dollars and rising dinars equals more dollars per dinars for ex-pats and that’s awesome! 😀 I think.

    The lamb made me want to scream and faint. I’m a weak woman… I can see dead animals, defeathered and decapitated but I feel guilty and stuff. I still eat some of them though.

    If you want great and cheap veggies, go to the chabra, Mubarakiya soug and or wafra farms. Those farms sell amazing stuff. Including poultry and 2 yolk-eggs for small prices. All Kuwaiti farms produce.

    Comment by Ruby Redux | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  5. Chirp, you really make me laugh. Target is usually the first place I hit when we go back to the states, phone cards, wrapping paper, small things, at reasonable prices.

    Fonzy – I am guessing you do not do a lot of grocery shopping. Usually, I just buy what I want, but this last month, I find myself putting things back and saying to myself “I’m not going to pay that much for that!” My condolences to your Dad, and to his wallet!

    Skunk – You are right! I always shop first at the co-op! Or the open markets! But there are things the Sultan carries that other stores don’t. I used to love the LuLu in Qatar.

    Wafra Farms? Ruby, you can just go to a farm and buy stuff from them directly? Can you tell me where Yasmine Farms is?

    With the dollar falling, it means I need to spend more dollars to buy every dinar. With prices also rising, OUCH! OUCH!

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  6. I too like to see what is sold in other countries that is not found in the US. The one that startled me most was in Chile they would sell bundles of chicken feet–all scaly yellow. They were bundled up with the feet sticking out and reminded me of a bunch of weird flowers. I was told they were used to make soup. They also sold cow udders. I saw them served in a restaurant stuffed with something, sausage, I think, and grilled. Didn’t have the nerve to sample them.

    Comment by momcat | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  7. It’s all in what we get used to, isn’t it, Momcat? My Chinese friend takes me to real Chinese restaurants in Seattle (nothing in English) and she orders, telling me there are things I don’t want to know about! There are things we eat that other cultures find nauseating, like pork!

    I would hesitate at the udder (shudder!)

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  8. You’re right the prices everywhere have gone crazy…..

    Sobaity (silvery sea bream in the last photo) does taste great

    but perhaps you are referring to Zubaidi ( white pomfret)

    Comment by Jewaira | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  9. Hey.. the last fish is not a Zubaidi.. its a Subaity.. hehehe
    Zubaidi looks different .. so if u want to buy a “Zubaidi” make sure its not “Subaity”…

    Comment by Type O | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  10. Holy Smokes! Sobaity is not Zubaidi! I thought it was a transliteration thing. . . thanks!

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  11. Yes, you can totally go. Yasmine farms, I don’t know… But go as a group with a big cars because they sell in bunches. What else? Go with someone who knows the way or knows sellars too, so you don’t get lost.

    It’s an hour long drive.

    Comment by Ruby Redux | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  12. yasmine farms/ faisaliyah farms is the same farm owned by sultan and its in wafra

    Comment by anon | March 18, 2008 | Reply

  13. *RR noticed her own spelling errors, is ashamed*

    Comment by Ruby Redux | March 18, 2008 | Reply

  14. Thank you, Ruby, and thank you anon! Ruby, I just corrected a spelling mistake I made back in November in this blog, and it just kept looking wrong to me! Please! I don’t check spelling! 🙂 I’m just glad you are here, and I am not the world’s greatest speller.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 18, 2008 | Reply

  15. when you want a real meat in kuwait you can go to the slaughter in daher area and buy a good lamb it wont cost you alot but you can eat a fresh clean tasty meat and no problem keeping it in freezer > the meat sold in the local markets mostly australian but the one you will buy alive will be arabian and is very tasty

    Comment by koko | July 21, 2008 | Reply

  16. Thank you, Koko, for that good information. Sometimes we eat down at the Mubarakiyya (when the weather cools off a little) because the meat there is SO fresh!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 21, 2008 | Reply

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