Sunday, February 1, 2009

In Search of ... Turkey!

M y husband took me out in search of a turkey for Thanksgiving since I had been very disappointed that we hadn't had one the year before, shortly after I first arrived in Saudi Arabia.


First we went to an enormous brand new immaculate and stunning super market with the widest aisles I have ever seen. Surely they must have a turkey here. After checking the fresh meat department and the frozen section, my husband decided to ask an employee - who was cleaning the floor of this spic-and-span establishment and who apparently spoke neither Arabic nor English - if he knew where the turkey (in English) or "deek roomy" (turkey in Arabic) might be. The guy happily pointed us over to the Bakery Department (!?!), saying, "Turkey! Turkey!" Miffed, we walked over to the Bakery Department where we were greeted by the Manager of the Bakery, whose name badge introduced him to us as "Mr. Al-Turki."

The second huge super market we tried to find turkey in did actually have turkey, but it was precooked ready to eat deli turkey in those huge rolls that you can have the butcher slice off a kilo or two for you to take home and make sandwiches out of. Well, I'd really rather have a real turkey, but I guess this would do if we couldn't find anything else ...

The third place we went to is also a fancy super store - they call them "hyper markets" here. In the frozen section in the far corner of one of the chests tucked away between some frozen ducks was a single 4.11 kg frozen turkey! Yay! At this store, we also got the fixings for a homemade pumpkin pie and my famous jellied cranberry salad with celery, pineapple and walnuts.

Adam and I were so happy to have the traditional Thanksgiving meal, complete with mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing. It was quite a mission finding a turkey in a country where many of the natives I have talked to about it claim to not LIKE the taste of turkey. The funny thing is that in the months following, we have seen several stores with an abundant supply of frozen turkeys! Next holiday, we'll get an earlier start ...

28 comments:

  1. hi Susie, award time!!

    http://o0ummhasan0o.blogspot.com/2009/02/so-award-goes-to-drum-roll-please.html

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  2. by the way this post makes me sooooo hungrey... can i come eat at your table lolz..

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  3. So were directed to Mr. Al Turki - LOL

    Quite an adventure you had :)

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  4. So, there IS a call for frozen turkeys in Jeddah. :) Can you get Butterballs? :)

    Well, at least, you're all set up for future reference.

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  5. Oh Susie you cracked me up!!!!! I am glad you got your turkey girl. I am here rolling on the floor laughing over Mr. Al Turki!

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  6. Hahaha...That was so funny!!! Your Turkey looks quite delicious! Somehow Middle Easterns, Central Asians, and South Asians don't like the taste of the Turkey. I can never convince my husband, my mom, or my in-laws to have turkey for Thanksgiving. Watching the Food Network always makes me want to have a nice big stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce...Everyone else chimes "Make a stuffed Chicken, and we'll eat it."

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  7. interesting post susie. happy you were able to locate a turkey. we just roasted one last week and are enjoying the leftovers making turkey sandwiches and such.

    have a great week.

    erin

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  8. Woehahahaaa! So mr Al-Turki was not scared when you explained you wanted to eat Turki???? :)

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  9. LOL! Mr Al Turki. Very traditional, American. Glad you caught up with this one. Was the price comparable? My family holiday tradition was duck.

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  10. AA-

    My wife also comes up with these crazy cravings for turkey (oddly it happens around late November)... anyways she gets her fix from Tamimi - they carry huge turkeys - awesome for leftovers...mmm-hmmm. :-)

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  11. The turkey looks yummy! I am sure it was.

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  12. Wonderful outing and story. Can only imagine the expression on Mr. Al-Turki's face. :)

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  13. That menu looks mouth-watering. My American-Lebanese neighbour was asking me where she could get pumpkin pie filling from and I hadn't a clue. Where did you manage to find it?

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  14. Wow, looks delicious! And "hyper markets" seems like an accurate term for many grocery stores back in North America!

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  15. Hi Umm Hasan - Thanks so much! You made my day.

    Hi Nadia - Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Hi Rhonda - I haven't seen any Butterballs yet!!!

    Hi Yoli - Glad I could make you laugh!

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  16. Hi Sonia - Yeah, I don't get their aversion to turkey! It's my favorite meal of the year!

    Hi Erin - I LOVE the leftovers too. I like making a sandwich with the works in it, even cranberry and stuffing!

    Hi Always - :D

    Hi Aafke - Actually, Mr. Al-Turki looked quite surprised - I guess by the fact that people actually like to EAT turkey!

    Hi Gaelyn - I would say that the turkey was a bit more expensive, but things that don't sell well here (like broccoli) tend to be more expensive than products that are really in demand.

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  17. Hi Howes Family - It WAS like we were hunting for a turkey!

    Hi Naeem - You're making me hungry for turkey again!

    Hi Suroor - It turned out really good, nice and moist. Yummy.

    Hi Susan - I think he was more surprised at the looks on OUR faces!

    Hi Sabaa - We found the pumpkin pie filling at Danube. They have fruit fillings too.

    Hi Riot Wife - They just use the term "hyper" here instead of "super." Just doesn't translate the same way in English.

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  18. My American sisterinlaw said as she departed for the US.I will be taking meat back my I borrow your freezer.I said oh well let us travel to Sweden maby you can find it there?No she said.Well sure you can borrow freezing space (outside would do also lol)Went home thinking in all of Norway-Scandinavia WE CANNOT HAVE THE MEAT FOR AN AMERICAN? Huff I had to jump off my high horse fast.What you have here is what she wants just a taste of home.She did not come with her meat though,there was not room

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  19. Nothing can beat a Thanksgiving spread. I'm glad you got your turkey - looks delish! :)

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  20. I think they're actually using European terminology - in Europe a "supermarket" is smaller than a "hypermarket". Like in the UAE terms A Carrefour is a hypermarket while a Spinneys would be a supermarket

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  21. Glad your efforts were rewarded. The results look delicious.

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  22. I like the wide isles in the first supermarket. I've never seen a store with so much room for the shopping carts. Your meal looks delicious, even though I prefer chicken to turkey.

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  23. Your turkey looks delicious! I am about to make a sweet potato pie wanna come around for a slice or two? I saw butterball turkeys in Hyper Panda a few months ago.

    I love reading your blog .

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  24. Susie,
    I love your turkey story. The photos of the markets amazed me. The vegetables are so fresh-looking and clean. Such orderly, colorful displays. The markets I saw in Egypt looked nothing like the ones in your photos. Keep in touch.
    Cheers! Betty Ann

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  25. Where did you find cranberries?? Never saw them here in Jeddah

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  26. Hi Dina - I found canned cranberry sauce at Danube. Happy Thanksgiving!

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