One thing I’m definitely loving here is the availability and spread of super fresh ingredients everywhere. And you don’t have to pay a premium for it either! In fact, it’s cheaper to buy fresh food here than something frozen or canned, the opposite standard than in the United States. Last week, I bought easily three weeks worth of completely fresh vegetables and fruits (they were just delivered to the grocer less than an hour before I went there) for only $16. I would have not even been able to get nearly this much worth at a typical supermarket in Boston and the quality and selection is even better.
This past Saturday I went to a free brunch at Plan Bey showcasing the products of Tata Marie. Tata Marie uses all natural and local ingredients she grows mostly herself, with no preservatives or dyes, to create over 40 different food products and soap in her own kitchen. Her products are based on traditional Syrian recipes from the Levant region and she follows the harvests and seasons to create the freshest and tastiest foods. For us to try she had a bunch of different honeys, nectars, juices, spreads, and cheese, just a small taste of what she makes.
To go with Tata Marie’s foods, Plan Bey had a huge buffet spread of a huge assortment of Lebanese snacks, breads, fruit salads, yogurt, and cakes. The space itself was an art gallery and bookstore, so we could browse through limited edition prints from Lebanese photographers and read their hilarious “non-occasional cards.”
It’s going to be quite an adjustment going back to Boston now that I’m getting used to having all the freshest and highest quality fruits and veggies available to me at a fraction of the cost. I’ll definitely miss it, which means I’ll definitely be taking advantage of it while I’m here.