Three Things Thursday; Food in Oman

I’ve landed in a totally new destination which has confounded all my expectations in wonderful ways. As always, my best settling-in technique is to dive in mouth-first, so this month here are three more…

Dried food

Dried dates, dried bread, dried fish, dried milk balls, dry black lemon powder

…unusual nutritional items.

Amazing Iranian restaurant

Amazing Iranian restaurant

One thing I’m really enjoying about living in Muscat is what a multicultural city it is. This has its perks and downfalls, but compared to the places I’ve lived in the last five years, there’s greater level of diversity, and this is most easily appreciable in the food on offer. The slowly returning Omani diaspora from Baluchistan and Zanzibar bring fusion Arabian / South Asian and Arabian / African dishes. There’s also a wealth of Iranian food from our neighbours across the Strait of Hormuz, famous for their sweets. My nearest cheap meal out is an eye-popping Iranian restaurant which I mistook for a light fittings shop at first glance. And I’m in my personal food heaven as the huge Indian expat community dominates food outlets and supermarket options.


Around Vietnam by coffee

I may have previously mentioned (harped on about, bored everyone to tears with) my love of Vietnamese coffee. Not only is it thick, potent and delicious, it’s also cheap and can be presented in a stunning array of visual and gustatory styles.

Traditional drip coffee

Traditional drip coffee


Three Things Thursday

Ripe from uprooting and heading south to tropical Thailand here are three things…

Thai cornucopia

Thai cornucopia

… I’ve never had on my plate before!

As a small woman with a big appetite, one of the most exciting things about any new country is finding food I’ve never seen or heard of before. One of the first Three Things posts I wrote when I landed in Korea was about three new and unusual foods I’d found. Despite having travelled a bit around parts of south east Asia in the couple of years since then, I’ve still managed to find fruit and veg this week in Thailand that I’ve never seen / heard of / tasted / all of the above before.

Thing 1 ~ Longkong fruit

Lurking in the plastic bag on the right, looking like a pile of new potatoes… that’s them. These inconspicuous looking spud-like fellas only drew my attention in the market by virtue of their abundance. Then I noticed that not only were there piles of them, everywhere, but they were also one of the cheapest things available. They didn’t look particularly appealing, but at such a cheap price I had to investigate. More

Three Things Thursday

…In this month’s goody bag are three delicious food ‘towns’ in Seoul (vegetarians, look away now)

One of my favourite things about the world beyond the tiny confines of my proud, island nation is the habit of grouping retail areas into zones. It turns out that what initially seemed to me to be a thoroughly counter-intuitive system of throwing up a whole row of shops selling the same thing at pretty much the same price is in fact a world-wide phenomenon that apparently works for all countries other than my own and my nearby European neighbours.

On my first major trip abroad in the late ’90s, I was hugely impressed by the famous ‘Jeans street’ in Bandung, Indonesia. I thought it was a genius one-off idea, and it was a tourist attraction in a town that had little else, from what I could see at the time. Fast forward to my much more recent exploration of Latin America and, lo and behold, here’s the haberdashery zone in central Bogotá. There’s the cheap glasses zone in downtown Lima.

Seoul has taken this phenomenon one step further and has a number of small areas dedicated to a particular dish. From narrow streets where you can indulge your taste for spicy rice cake, to an inconspicious building hosting an array of blood sausage, here are three of my favourites.

Thing 1 ~ Sundae Town, Sillim-dong (순대타은)

For readers not familiar with Korean cuisine, I should clarify from the start that this is not somewhere to go for the delicious, ice-cream dessert of the same name. In fact, when someone first explained sundae to me (순대 in Hangeul), I had a reaction similar to a child first hearing about sex. Or haggis. “They put some what in the where?” More

Six Things Sunday!

I’ve been storing up amusing pictures from signs and packaging and it seemed like a good time to release them into the blogosphere. I’ll be eternally gutted that in all the time I spent in South America I failed to take a single photo of entire supermarket aisles of tinned fish labelled, “Fanny”. The level of juvenile hilarity in that one will probably be more obvious to English rather than American readers, but I laughed every time I went shopping for the three years I was there.

I also failed to snap the brand of cracker named, inexplicably, “Kraps.” However, I did capture this little beauty –

P1020422 More

Three Things Thursday

This week, three things on my plate.

Three foods

Three foods

Thing 1 is… More

Call Trading Standards!

There are certain expectations a girl grows up with only to have them dashed, shattered, splattered and destroyed. One of these moments happened when I was 19 on my first foray into the world of casinos. Raised on a diet of James Bond, I thoroughly expected all the men to be dashingly handsome Europeans in tuxedos (even though this casino was in Australia) and all the women to be couture-clad uber-evil Russian ice princesses. How disappointed was I to find that most people in a casino are badly dressed, balding, middle-aged drunks smelling vaguely of desperation. More

Something Fishy

For some time I’ve been living in a place which really, really, REALLY values it’s contribution to world cuisine. Unfortunately most of the world does not appear to have taken the bait. I’m quite a foodie, from a place where a fair variety of world cuisine is easy to come by, and I’ve never, ever heard of most of any of Peru’s most famous dishes. Maybe I’m just ignorant. Maybe there isn’t a huge Peruvian community in the UK, or maybe aliens fitted a bizarre filter to my ears and cultural perceptors which meant I just never digested any of this information before. Whatever the reason, now is my opportunity to try it out and disseminate this wonderful bounty upon you, my readers.

So here is what I got up to last week. Ceviche, Peruvian style. More

Feathered friends

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