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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am moving to Cairo in February. Previous times that I lived there (in 1987-88, 1992-3, and 99-2000), food shopping options for gourmet cooking were limited. I love to cook several types of Asian food (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Persian), European food (French, Spanish, Italian), and also Mexican and Caribbean food, and also some kinds of health food.

I only briefly stopped into the Metro Market in Maadi during my job interview, and saw some products, but not everything I was looking for. I did find soy sauce and fresh ginger. Many Sekem vegetables seem to have expanded.

I would like to know if I can buy:

East Asian foods:

Thai curry pastes
Tom Yum paste
fish sauce
galangal root (preferably fresh)
Fresh thai basil
Fresh lemongrass
Tofu
miso
umeboshi plums
seaweed- laver for sushi, wakame for soups, and kombu for stocks and other dishes.
soba noodles
udon noodles
sushi rice
jasmine rice
roasted sesame oil
kecap manis
sisho
sea salt (for making kimchi)
rice wrappers for fresh spring rolls
Bean thread vermicelli "glass" noodles
rice noodles

Indian:

basmati rice
Fresh fenugreek
fresh curry leaves
papadams
chickpea flour
asafoetida (hing)
semolina (for making rotis)
toor dal (yellow split peas)
urad dal
paneer cheese
nan

Persian:

dried limes (Limu-ye Amani)
Barberries (zereshk)
Saffron- the real stuff, not safflower
pomegranate syrup (rob-e anar)

Spanish:

Pimenton (dulce, hot, and smoked paprika)
saffron
valencia rice
Spanish oilve oils
Sherry (manzanilla, fino, amontillado)
Sherry vinegar
bacalao

Italian:

Sun dried tomatoes
arborio rice
prosciutto

italian cheeses

french cheeses
foix gras
truffles

Turkish-greek

sucuk sausage
kayseri cheese

anchovies
achovy paste

Mexican:
corn tortillas
flour tortilla
dried chilis (Ancho, cascabel, pasilla etc)
Epazote
pinto beans (dried or canned)
black beans

Health food:

Nutritional yeast flakes
Marmite
Vital wheat gluten
high-gluten bread flour
whole-wheat flour
pastry flour
fresh bread yeast

Walnuts
pecans
pistachios
almonds

good quality chocolate for eating and baking (green & black, or unsweetened)
peanut butter

I'll think of more later.

Oh, I also am lactose intolerant, and need to buy lactase enzyme tablets, and also alpha- galactosidase enzyme or "Beano" type enzyme.

Thanks! Shukran jazilan!
 

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Good question.

I'm not going to run through the list, but some pointers would be:

Alpha Markets (on the Corniche in Maadi) does a more extensive selection of foreign food than most. That's where I head for Indian and East Asian ingredients, though the Indian selection tends to be very limited (I couldn't even find garam masala). I and no doubt many other Brits would love to know of a good Indian food store.
Carrefour does some stuff. Thai curry pastes can be had there (red, green and Tom Yam, but sadly never Massaman).
Loads of Sushi restaurants here, so clearly someone is importing the ingredients, but I've never come across a Japanese produce section in any shop.
Gourmet Egypt does some bits and pieces you will struggle to find elsewhere. It has a reasonably good cheese counter.
I chanced on this Maadi foodie blog, which may contain a few pointers
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

Please do not add any more to your shopping list.

In Cairo you will find that a certain item can be available for months and then you know longer see it on the shelf for another year. Lots of international produce is available but whilst we enjoy food from home most of us make do and are happy with what we can buy locally. If life for you would be intolerable without the said items then Cairo is not for you.


Maiden

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If any of those products are canned, dried, or packaged, it would probably be easiest to just bring a year supply with you when you move here. Anything can be found in Cairo, but it will most likely cost more and be difficult and time consuming to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If any of those products are canned, dried, or packaged, it would probably be easiest to just bring a year supply with you when you move here. Anything can be found in Cairo, but it will most likely cost more and be difficult and time consuming to find.
Yes, but products like fresh basil, lemongrass, and galangal are best fresh. Egypt has the perfect climate to grow these products, and I know that Thai restaurants serve them, so I wasn't sure if any of the grocers have picked up on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Indian Grocer on Road 9.

Alpha Markets (on the Corniche in Maadi) does a more extensive selection of foreign food than most. That's where I head for Indian and East Asian ingredients, though the Indian selection tends to be very limited (I couldn't even find garam masala). I and no doubt many other Brits would love to know of a good Indian food store.
Thanks so much, PoleDancer. I suppose Carrefour has coconut milk too?
I suppose that I can bring some seaweed laver and powdered wasabi, as it's lightweight.

If you search using the term "Indian grocer in Cairo!", you'll find a blog that give some info on an Indian grocer in Maadi. The exact address on the 3rd floor of building 106, Road 9 in Maadi. They also gave a number 0111883800. That said, the info is a bit old, so I don't know if it still exists or not.

Carrefour does some stuff. Thai curry pastes can be had there (red, green and Tom Yam, but sadly never Massaman).
Good to know! I presume that they have coconut milk? How about Thai basil, lemongrass, and galangal?

Loads of Sushi restaurants here, so clearly someone is importing the ingredients, but I've never come across a Japanese produce section in any shop.
Years ago, Sunny's market in Zamalek had some stuff, but then again, seaweed laver and wasabe isn't the heaviest thing to stick in my bag. I suppose some local rice can be used.

I also found a reference to a place called Bio Shop, which sells tofu and some health food. Not sure if this exists either.

What about tortillas and dried chilis? Or real Saffron from Iran or Spain?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello and welcome to the forum.

Please do not add any more to your shopping list.

In Cairo you will find that a certain item can be available for months and then you know longer see it on the shelf for another year. Lots of international produce is available but whilst we enjoy food from home most of us make do and are happy with what we can buy locally. If life for you would be intolerable without the said items then Cairo is not for you.


Maiden

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Thanks, as I noted above, I've live in Egypt several times before, and so am more than familiar with "making do" on local products. I'm merely trying to gauge what is available these days, and it seems from PoleDancer's very helpful reply above, far more stuff is available now than back in the 80's and 90's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Fresh mushrooms?

I forgot to ask if one can possibly buy fresh mushrooms in Egypt these days? That is something that they never had before. If so, what kinds? Or can you buy dried or canned asian mushrooms ( ****ake, woodear, etc)
 

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Thanks so much, PoleDancer. I suppose Carrefour has coconut milk too?
I think so, but I can't recall for sure. Getting coconut milk has never been a problem though. Alpha Market certainly stocks it.

How about Thai basil, lemongrass, and galangal?
I've never seen them here.



Thanks for that.

The profanity filter said:
Love it.:D. Good to know we're shielded from the names of Japanese mushrooms. I'm tempted to try naming a certain town in North Linconshire here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Seoudi

Saffron, mushrooms and lemongrass are available in Seoudi at much more reasonable prices than Alfa or Miriam. If you are stuck for lemongrass it grows wild around the boundaries of Katemaya go help yourself or the gardeners will cut it for you if you ask politely, a little baksheesh and it's no problem
Thanks so much! I hadn't heard of Seoudi market either, and I figured the stuff must be growing about, as it's the perfect climate, and related to reeds and such.

Thanks!
 
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