I was fascinated with the many choices available of tahinis, feta cheeses, pickles, and olive oils. What were the differences? There were also many varieties and sizes of ghee, the clarified butter used in Indian cooking. I remembered having to buy a large size once, the only size available, in our neighbourhood supermarket. I only needed a small amount for a recipe and had to throw out the rest.
I wanted to take home many of the frozen Middle Eastern foods ready for a microwave, but what to buy? I was glad to have a guide.The availability that day of fresh lichees, my favourite Chinese fruit, was a big surprise. Its usual season is June and the Spadina Chinatown that week didn’t have any.
Among the different syrups were rose syrup and mango pulp. I bought a couple cans of the latter (@$4.59) so I can make my own mango lassi at home. (Just add yogurt and water.). I liked the beautiful arrangements of its fresh vegetables and the decoration of its cakes.
I will return to Adonis the next time I’m in Scarborough. It is a bright, clean, beautiful store with a friendly staff, eager to help. As for Iqbal, I’ll go there for its larger-sized quantities of spices, rice, and nuts. Though they are not related, Iqbal is to Adonis as No Frills is to Loblaws. Iqbal is more like a warehouse,
I would prefer to go back to Adonis because we felt welcomed there and its weekly flyer is on line. It was really an interesting place to meet with friends for an adventurous lunch.
I wouldn’t recommend Iqbal for a pleasant lunchtime adventure. It has no handy tables or bake shop. I couldn’t find cooked ready-to-eat dishes to eat on the spot or take home. Its Halal meat section is like an old-fashioned butcher shop where you can watch butchers chopping up carcasses. I also found curious men there staring at us foreign-looking women. I didn’t feel welcomed there especially when a clerk told me not to take pictures. But it does have a shop next door with a good but simple Indian thali dish and lots of burfi sweets. It also has a huge number of boxes outside containing free ethnic newspapers. These were mainly South Asian like the Canadian edition of the highly regarded Times of India. I also found a free booklet advertising Muslim businesses and featuring interesting stories like the one about Muslim athletes in Canada. This directory should be of help to Syrian and other Muslim refugees.
Marché Adonis Scarborough, 20 Ashtonbee Rd., Scarborough, ON M1L 3K9. Website.firstname.lastname@example.org. http://groupeadonis.ca/en/contact/find-us.php.
Iqbal Halal Foods, 2 Thorncliffe Park Dr #5-15. (Turn north-west at Tim Horton’s). http://iqbalhalalfoods.com/
Please let us know about other interesting ethnic supermarkets, especially ones that will let us take photos and have places to eat. You might remember my blog about the Middle Eastern supermarket Arz in 2013. It’s in Scarborough also. It is on: http://bit.ly/1Xuuev8. Its website is: http://bit.ly/1R120Vs.