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Down Memory Lane – A Visual Walk Through The Dubai Spices Souks

by on February 29, 2016
 

Dubai. Still in my head. The spice souks…oh, what joy to see beauty, colour and fragrance packed in bags and beautifully displayed in aisles and on stall shelves.

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Here is a photo ‘summary’ of the delights.

Flowers – a variety

Dried flowers, often used in tea are very common in the spice souks. The bright, vibrant colours are alluring, not to mention the fragrance of the buds and blossoms. 

Some flowers I’d seen before – hibiscus – our very own zobo, roses, lavender, chamomile; others were new and enthralling – pamogranate [sic], sunflower, red flower and jasmin.

Spices, Incense at the Dubai Spice Souk

I wish I’d bought more to candy and play with.

I’m not sure about the flowers below but they resemble bluebird corn flowers, me thinks.

Dubai Spice Souks

I particularly liked the way the pomengranate flowers looked – a bit of sponge and honeycomb.

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Tea & Coffee

The tea blends were stunning – in colour and fragrance. I love the sound of soursop tea and cardamom tea – two of my favourite  things in the world.

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Spices

I saw lotssss of spices that were new to me.

First up, black limes. These are the product of flash-boiling in salt water and then sun-drying till once-vibrant green limes turn shades of tan and black. The result? All the complexity of preserved citrus – sour, citrusy, aromatic with the tang of fermented products. 

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Carob?

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And others that were kind of familiar, albeit in a different form. 

Spices, Incense at the Dubai Spice Souk

A blend of 17 spices, I believe is called Baharat, with some identifiable spices (turmeric, paprika, garlic) and many more ‘secret’ ingredients.

Spices, Incense at the Dubai Spice Souk

Olive leaves, which are apparently good for the body.

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Tall cinnamon sticks

Spices

Mace, nutmeg’s humble cloak

Herbs and spices from Dubai spice souks

Dried chilies

Herbs and spices from Dubai spice souks

Dried Fruits & Nuts

Almonds – really small, I’ve forgotten the name os this particular variety :(.

Dubai Spice Souks

There was a stunning array of dried fruit

Dubai Spice Souks

Raisins
Spices, Incense at the Dubai Spice Souk

Dried white mulberries,

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Cranberries, golden raisins, …

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Herbs and spices from Dubai spice souks

Fresh, green, sliced pistachios

Dubai Spice Souk

Dried figs, strung up/ skewered and whole nuts

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Fresh vanilla pods which I considered expensive at $1 each but in the end, I think that’s the ‘going’ rate

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Gorgeous apricots

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Incense

Like India, the burning of incense is a big thing in Dubai and the Middle East.  Market stalls were full of  various sorts – from individual elements

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to blocks

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and mixes

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Oils

And oils – castor, almond, cress, cumin, etc

Herbs and spices from Dubai spice souks

And finally, an oddity but found in bags of different sizes – dried shrimp. According to one store owner, they were the perfect snack for evening and weekend drinks, from soda to beer (where permitted).

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I had an awesome time. I look forward to visiting other souks, like the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

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Much love xxx