Saturday, September 13, 2014

What's Happenin'

Howdy


I know it might seem like all we do is eat but honestly eating is a great way to have fun in Doha.  Even the supermarket is full of unexpected things ranging from local favorites to seasonal treats important from other countries.  It seems everyone is looking for a taste of home.  On a coworker's suggestion I bought these snacks at the Monoprix while we were over there getting lunch one day. Maamoul is like a shortbread cookie and in this case it has a filling made of dates.  It is a bit like a fig newton or other fruit filled cookie.  Unlike poptarts this dessert has a better fruit to bread ratio and you get more of the sweet stuffing to balance out all the crust.  I did find these a bit dry so I am going to assume you are supposed to enjoy them with coffee or tea.  I did really like that the box contains several individually wrapped cookies.  I am going to leave the box at work for afternoons when I am peckish.  So basically everyday.  I also saw treats on the shelf that used a lot of coconut.  I am on the hunt for a minty snack but nothing has really jumped out at me.  I saw another treat that looked a bit like a moon pie.  I think I will have to just eat dessert for a while to get caught up on all this options.  And you wonder why I never cook?  ;) 



This next treat is a product of Belgium.  When it was described for me I thought 'gee that sounds just like Biscoff.'  It's a sweet spread made of cookies.  I had some on a pita because that's what I had around.  It's nice right out of the jar with a spoon too.  I thought it tasted just like Biscoff too, so it was off to the internet to see what was going on.  Sure enough Speculoos was marketed in the US in 2011 under the name Biscoff because that is what they also call the cookies the spread is made from.  Who wants to sing It's a Small World After All? 


A little Biscoff history from their website:
"Biscoff Cookies are a type of shortcrust biscuit known as “speculoos,” a Belgian specialty. Throughout Europe, these mid-day treats are known as Lotus Speculoos.  Speculoos were traditionally made for special occasions, including weddings, births, and to celebrate St. Nicholas’ Feast on December 6. Our European treats first made their way to America as in-flight treats. Starting in the 1980s, Biscoff treats have been paired with mid-air morning coffee in flights throughout the United States. Frequent fliers took note of the unique taste and special magic of Biscoff and coffee, and today’s passengers continue to discover Biscoff on major domestic flights throughout the country." (Biscoff)

Apron souvenir from dinner.
Thursday night I had a BBQ dinner at the St. Regis hotel here in Doha.  The entire facility is exquisite.  It is not just a hotel.  The hotel complex has a pool, beach, numerous restaurants and yes bars, cabanas and a jazz club. The jazz club entrance was very intriguing, you enter via a red lit elevator.  It's so mysterious. We were treated to a sumptuous area of grilled meats, veggies and fruits along with an array of desserts, cheese and breads. The meal featured lots of fun sauces like a traditional bbq, sweet chili and mustard.  The rules for dress and drink are not the same at the hotel as they are for the rest of the city and certainly not the office.  It was acceptable to wear sleeveless tops or skirts.  Dinner was served with alcohol and people smoked openly.  Being at the hotel is a very  different  atmosphere. Even with all the options they didn't offer ketchup which I saw many people request for their fries.  The waitstaff brought ketchup out in tiny jars like you might get with room service. Another treat was being able to keep the custom aprons provided to keep our clothes clean. I actually forgot that my apron was in my purse and Friday morning I found it and was very confused. Although the weather is cooling off slowly I wasn't able to eat very much.  Overeating when its 100 degrees out makes me feel slovenly at best and miserable at the worst.  One thing I ponder as with any buffet, what becomes of all the food?  The breads displayed had the restaurant logo dusted on them with flour. No one ate them.  I wonder what happened to all the bread when we left. 

After dinner we walked down to the beach where a band was playing reggae and rap music.  There were cubies set off to the side for our shoes.  The beach also had a bar and all drinks were in plastic containers.  We took our drinks to the beach with us and you would have never known we weren't in Las Vegas. It was a lovely evening so I was really  surprised when suddenly it was 2am and we were all so tired. If we had stayed up a little longer we might have caught the sunrise. From the beach there was a great view of Doha's downtown skyline and I was able to see my office building.  It can be easy to forget that Qatar is a relativity small nation and that many things are nearby.


Laura

6 comments:

  1. Fascinating; and yes, food plays a huge role in all cultures.

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  2. Nice that you can get out with new friends,feel safe and get to enjoy new eats and experiences. We are always trying new weeds, so we can guess what it is like for you trying new cookies and such. Just buy the small pkgs and try them out and if they aren't something you like at least you don't have a big investment. You can always take to work and share them with office family. Blah for now...you nanny goat friends, Cape and MAtter

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    1. I'm not sure they make bad cookies.

      blah goats,
      Laura

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  3. I bet if you do some crazy P90X it will scare away the bugs. Please bring me treats? :) I've been good.

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    1. Do they have that online? I still have not checked to see if my tv works.

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