I am a food fan, in case you’ve not guessed. I love pretty much all foods – except anything with those pesky nuts in! When a friend of mine offered me a trip out to the local organic farmers market, I jumped at the chance!
I was slightly more prepared this time however. I had been to the one at Zabeel Park a couple of years back so knew it wasn’t going to be an amazing Farmers Market situation going on. Always good to know that in advance so I didn’t feel the crushing disappointment again!
The Ripe Markets have grown since then and now have two locations in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. I was thankful we were trying out the Al Barsha Pond Park market because I knew what a nightmare parking was at Zabeel Park.
I was very pleasantly surprised at the produce on offer in Barsha. I don’t know if when I tried the other we had arrived too late in the day or something, but there was huge amounts of beautiful and fresh fruits and vegetables.
I bought a fair bit:
This whole box set me back approximately 200dhs which sounds a lot, but when you think about how lovely and fresh it is and the fact that it will last much longer, then it’s not too bad. I didn’t finish it all in a week, and it was still perfectly fine in the week after.
Just so you can get a better idea, in this box of yumminess was: clementines, pears, 2 punnets of blueberries, a watermelon, oranges, bananas, beetroot, courgette/zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, and baby sweetcorn.
After buying our healthy bits, we had a bit of an amble around the rest of the market. It’s mostly crafty bits that doesn’t interest me in the slightest which was a bit of a disappointment, but there were a couple of winning stalls.
There is a guy there selling lovely Himalayan salt lamps at very reasonable prices. Sadly he doesn’t take cards and we had run out of cash at the fruit bit. Also, the ATM over the road was broken. Grr. It was even more sad when I went back the following week and he had sold all the ones I wanted. I am going to keep walking by and checking them out though as the health benefits to having a salt lamp is apparently huge. Read more about it here.
There is also a very sweet chap selling a skin care range which the girls went crazy for. Apparently they had products from him in the past and then couldn’t find him again. They well and truly stocked up. He was lovely and explained absolutely everything in the lotions and potions for them, and I have to say, even I was tempted by the lavender scented things which is an indicator of how good it all sounded and smelled because I am not into skin care stuff unless it’s Clinique usually!!
Then there was my favourite section… the food ‘alley’!
You could have a little taste of anything from Yemeni honey to camel milk ice cream. Then there are food stalls and trucks too! I didn’t eat everything that day, much as I wanted to! I still have a good few things I want to try, but I have had and can highly recommend the following:
Pit Fire Pizza
Try Pit Fire’s jumbo pizza slices for AED 20 a pop for a margarita, and additional toppings for AED 2 each. Come hungry and have more than one would be my piggy suggestion, but that is the reason I need to do Slimming World so I probably would just stick to the one and give yourself room to try the other lovely things! The pepperoni slices and extra cheese (my standard order) do make it a bit of a messy one to eat as the oils come out, but that is absolutely the fault of the toppings and not the pizza itself. The base is really the perfect balance of thickness, as showcased by the beautifully bubbly crusts. Also, my friend had one with healthier (spinach and ricotta) toppings and that was completely fine to eat!
DOH Mini Doughnuts
DOH, an Emerati start up, is my favourite by far. Their mini doughnuts are a real treat and remind me of summers spent on the coast in England. There was always a mini-doughnut stall somewhere along the seafront, and I can still taste and smell those lovely hot, greasy, sugary treats now. DOH aren’t as greasy which is a good thing, but they are just as flavourful. They have a variety of toppings to tempt you further with – powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, Nutella and Lotus (which is something to do with those little biscuits you get with coffee!). I had mine plain but fully intend to try lotus next time. They are AED 20 for 6 doughnuts, and refills are only AED 15. Genius!!
(I totally stole that picture from their Instagram page because I was in too much of a hurry to be able to take my own photo! Oops!)
I would also like to add as a final thought that anyone who can wear white, set up a food stand and then work with a fryer, has my undiluted respect. I can barely walk out of the house wearing white without messing it up!