What ingredients are native to Bahrain and where you should buy them
Time Out Bahrain staff
Dates The Irish have potatoes. The Chinese have rice. The Congolese have cassava. For Bahrainis, dates have long been a staple, and in a country in which very little grows, wars have been waged, cities defended and palaces erected on a diet of dates. Today, Bahrain’s neighbour Saudi Arabia is responsible for the best dates in the region, and it is to the Saudi date firm Bateel in Seef Mall that you should head if you want to see what powered this great little kingdom.
The waters surrounding Bahrain are teeming with fish, and the local population has depended on seafood for centuries. Hammour (known as grouper in the rest of the world) is the cod of the Arabian Sea, though you can find great crabs, shrimps and eels, if you look hard enough. The fish section of Central Market sells a bewildering variety.
999 oysters out of a thousand don’t have a pearl in them. Fortunately, they do have a luscious lump of flesh, meaning all is not lost when you crack one open and don’t find a gem. Buy oysters at Central Market.
Halva Forget the Greek stuff, bin that which comes from Bangladesh, the best halva in the world is made in Muharraq. Soft, sweet, and with a flower-like flavour, Hussain Mohammed Showaiter Sweets (17 345 551) is a national institution.