Saturday, August 22, 2009

si le vin est bon...

I'm only too aware that when a person goes on holiday - it's easy to compare your standard of living for those two weeks with how a person lives on a daily basis in Dubai. Of course, Dubai always comes out as the underdog in these stakes. let's face it , 45 degrees, dust, sand and having to constantly repeat yourself over and over for clarification doesn't inspire much love when you think about it with a cynical approach!

For the sake of sparing you all from my usual aimless rants , I am going to talk about just one aspect of my holidays this year ; the food! We have just returned from a fabulous two week stay in Paris , where Lebanese and Irish contingency of our families met , and managed not to fight , nay , even got on like a proverbial house on fire ! With the formalities out of the way ,we were left to savour some of the more important features of our parisien adventure - eating!

French bread , cheese, wine, you name it - the French seem to get it right when it comes to all kinds of eating - be it dining out or cooking at home. The quality of raw ingredients are so superior , that for the first time in a long time, I could have happily munched on a tomato with bread all day and not felt the need for something "tastier" which I so often do here in Dubai !
Little bistros , never to be reviewed by restaurant critics , managed to serve up the most simple and tasty dishes at such value. This is what makes france different from so many other countries in the world. The french seem to have such a respect for the enjoyment and qaulity of food , they view is as a right , not merely an option, to savour superior meals at a fraction of the cost. The availabiliy of such beautiful produce is restricted to none and available to all . It is classless and not reliant on the quantity of your pay cheque- thus making it attainable by the majority .

Now lets flick over to Dubai. Horrible , insipid fruit and vegetables, pumped with all manner of chemicals and pesticides languish in the aisles of Spinneys et al . While many a shwarma stand can produce award winning food , quality at a pocket friendly price seems to stop here. Maybe it's my cooking skills that lack the imagination needed to produce such mouth watering dishes( distinctly possible ) but something tells me it's not all that simple.

As consumers, we are told that we can vote with our feet when it comes to quality of food. The more organic , high quality produce we buy , the cheaper and more widely available it will become. How I wish that would actually happen here in Dubai! Despite putting on a stone ( yes , a full stone ) in two weeks , I am sure that I would be inspired to eat healthy foods here if only it were as flavoursome, cheap and as widely available as it was in Paris. Well , that's my excuse and I am sticking to it . I would love to see an entire organic produce section in spinneys that is far bigger than the processed foods aisles.

The first thing I ate when I came back to Dubai? A packet of koka noodles and a can of Fanta orange. If this continues , I am not merely heading for a heart attack , but I am also staring down the barrel of having to buy an entire new wardrobe or donning a cover all abaya for the coming months. So far , I am uninspired to consume anything labelled "fresh " here. It's 7 am and I have just wolfed down 3 hobnobs for breakfast . This blog may just turn into a weight loss obsessed foodies blog . You have been warned !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes I have to agree with your treatise on French fine dining. It is truly remarkable what magic they create with the ingredients. Next time you are in gay Paris try the Trocadero, a good night was had by all.

As the Ballybricken man said, T'was worth it.