Spicing Up Life in Rio: Arab Markets

So I have been to every grocery story in our neighborhood, and there are quite a few, and had started to assemble a wish list of spices from the States.    Granted, knowing that S and I will be going to the States in a month makes for a pretty easy out to tracking down hidden markets in the city when I have a million other things to do.

Way down on my list was finding the Arab markets in hopes they would have all the spices my neighborhood markets don’t have, but today one found me disguised as Pedro.   S had to go get a new ID, so L and I tagged along.   We got off the metro at Siquiera Campos and walked a few blocks. As we entered the building where the ID office was a small store caught my eye.  It was packed with spices and bins of different legumes, grains, olives, oils, sweets, and wine.   L dozed off in the stroller and S was number 92 in line and getting a haircut next door, so I ditched them to go complete my pantry.

For less than 35 dollars I walked out of Casas Pedro with a bottle of Chilean wine, real old fashioned oatmeal at a reasonable price, unsweetened cocoa, tahina, and all the spices I have been needing, except garam masala because they were out, but including cream of tartar so L and I can get busy making play dough.

They have an entire encyclopedia on the use and medicinal qualities of herbs and spices online along with a list of everything they carry.   Better yet, there is a shop only three blocks from my house that I apparently missed.  Unfortunately the one thing they don’t carry is one of L’s favorite foods ever, pearl couscous.  But a trip to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods in the States next month will have that covered.

Now, if I could only find a grocery store that carries fresh hot peppers.   I miss salsa already!


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