Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Foods

I always try to buy some new things when I grocery store.  I had seen a lot of people buying a yogurt drink called Laban. Also known as Leben, it's fermented milk.  It tastes like yogurt but you can drink it like buttermilk.  Have you had Kefir or Lassi?  It's exactly the same thing, just different words. Laban is nice and smooth.  It's slightly sweet because of the strawberry flavoring and not tangy like some yogurts. I will definitely buy these again. These drinks are full of fun enzymes that help your insides do their job.  I see people pick these drinks up at the store along with their take away lunches. Where do you think Activia got the idea?  Ironically the Laban that I saw only came in a few flavors but the milk next to it in the dairy case came in flavors I am not ready for.  I just cannot wrap my mind around the idea of Guava flavored milk.  The packaging for milk and laban is identical.  Both items are in Arabic on one side and English on the other.  I have noticed that a lot of packaging doesn't say how many servings an item is.  Also the ingredient list tends to be so small you really cannot read it.  My other favorite thing about yogurt here is the package of mixed fruit individual yogurt cups.  I took this to mean the flavor is mixed fruit. And I was wrong. The package is 10 little cups of yogurt and you get a mix of about 4-5 flavors like lemon or strawberry. Who knew? 

I saw these little pudding cups that looked a lot like the prepackaged flan I buy at home.  Labeled as Creme Caramel I figured what could be bad. You can eat these right out of the package but the grooved cup makes it hard to reach all the sauce.  I like to tip my pudding in a dish or tea cup and wait for all the caramel to run out. I love the sauce, it is worth the wait.  It seemly lightly salted. It's a really light dessert and a wonderful treat.  The company Danette is owned by Danone, or in the US, Dannon. Danone also produces Evian water and many other products.   I have noticed that a lot of sweet foods here aren't that sugary.  Instead of tasting sweet you taste the flavor first. I can think of foods from home that are so sweet they make my teeth ache.  I haven't eaten anything like that in Qatar yet. 

Based on this post you might get the impression that I only eat diary products.  In an effort not to break the pattern, here is another new food that is also made with milk. This is Turkish Labaneh.  It is sometimes called Lebanese cream cheese.  So if you are keeping track milk is Haleeb.  Haleeb is made into yogurt, Laban.  Laban is made into cheese called Labaneh.  This cheese spread has a similar texture to the cream cheese you might be familiar with but I did think it was fluffier. I also thought the taste was less tart than our Philly spread.  It isn't overly salty either like cheese could be. I think this is available in other flavors like herb or pepper, but I thought I should start with the basics and then branch out.  I enjoyed my snack on dark brown bread that my German friend favors.