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Gifts from the الشرق الأوسط

29 Jan

News flash: I haven’t been out of the country in eight loooong months.

BUT. My sister and dad visited the “Gulfies” recently (countries in the Middle East near the Persian Gulf) and brought back some goodies to enjoy! I’m sharing a few of them here because they are international, for one, and most have to do with food. Actually, they’re all food-related. My fam knows what I like!

And you thought there wouldn't be coffee involved...ha!

And you thought there wouldn’t be coffee involved…ha!

Out of everywhere they went, Abu Dhabi is hands down the city with the most fun name to say. The capital of the United Arab Emirates, it’s second in size to the more well-known (and flashy!) Dubai. There are 23 Starbucks stores in Abu Dhabi!

The coffee is from Oman (east of Yemen, where coffee was first cultivated) and apparently what a tourist gets when they ask for “the most traditional coffee” available. I have yet to try it, but it’s a very fine ground meant to be brewed in the Turkish style.

espresso

Baby espresso cups

When my sister bought the coffee, the seller offered these “espresso cups” along with it. She declined, but the seller insisted and finally gave them to her for free. I conclude that the salesperson, although very nice, is not super great at her job. The cups are really tiny. I make my coffee strong, but I still drink more than a thimbleful! But they were free, and the awesome thing is that they are “Japanese style” cups made in China and sold in Oman. Yep.

chocolateeeee

Chocolateeeee

Their trip included a stopover in Amsterdam on the way home, which is where my sister picked up the hagelslag (yeah, that ain’t Arabic). I am infamous for loving tiny things, and both of these chocolate goodies are only about two inches tall. Small things make me want to die inside and smile and cry all at the same time (imagine what happened when I saw these at Kroger). I might eat them one day. Or I might just leave them on display and get emotional whenever I see them. Whichever.

Although I’m a little jealous of anyone who travels sans me, the next best thing is hearing about and getting little gifts from the trips of others. What’s the most exciting “souvenir” you’ve received?