thank goodness for specialty stores in Abu Dhabi!!!
As someone who likes to cook and experiment in the kitchen there are certain ingredients that are readily available in the Philippines but would be considered 'exotic' here in the Emirates. Salted eggs, Shrimp Paste, Pandan leaves or extract and Kasubha - the Phils version of the coveted saffron are some of the items that I have difficulty finding in regular groceries. If I want these items I have to go to specialty stores that might carry these items or sometimes just settle with substitutes or revise my menu.
rows and baskets of sauces, picked food and noodles
Its a good thing really that there are these small Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and Thai specialty stores, which is a great help when you want to cook something that 'tastes like home'. In one of my not so frequent trip to buy some Tofu and sauce mixes. I was quite happy to discover that my favorite Chinese grocery store now offers assorted candy that can be bought by weight, what made me even happier was coming across a huge basket of White Rabbit Creamy Candy.
candy and snack food isle
When we were kids White Rabbit candies are novelty even more so than imported chocolates. Groceries usually only carry them in limited quantities and even though they are quite pricey they almost always run out of stock. I think the novelty of these creamy confection lies it is edible inner paper wrapper - I think no other candy have this kind of feature. I remember back then we were so amazed by 'eating paper' that we would watch ourselves in the mirror with out tongues sticking out just so we would see how the paper dissolves. I remember even carefully removing the edible paper from the sticky candy and watching it melt on my tongue wondering how this paper could be edible while others are not - I have since discovered that it is made from sticky rice and not from wood or grass pulp.
the White Rabbit Candy of my childhood
So when I came across these I promptly bough a few hadfulls and walked home while eating a few, I felt like a kid again walking home from an errand my mother sent me to. I almost skipped and hopped all the way home.