Most of you all know how I complain on the non-availability of things in Yanbu especially when I need it very badly. It is not that this place does not sell them but the stocks are not enough for the consumers or may be there is a group who buys all and leave others deprived. Or may be the store help informs his favorite customers on the stock arrival, Or is it just me? Are we always getting late to get hold of the stocks?
Vanilla essence: Now that is a very very common thing that should be available even in a small stores and there should be stock always as it is something every best, aspiring, struggling, chefs will want to add in their batter. I picked one when I did my first grocery shopping to fuel my new Kitchen. It is 8 months now and every single visit to the malls I go looking at the rack of essence and it has Banana, Almond, Rose, Pineapple but no signs of Vanilla.
Saffron - I always thought gulf people use saffron more than us Indians and so it should be available easily. But trust me, I never got to see even one. Once we got lucky to see an empty carton of saffron and F said that it is the same brand his mom used to use. We asked the store help and he said it gets sold and we need to be quick! Eh??? How quick? And how do the people who get hold get to know it is there? More than me, F was determined to get me one so that I don't go no-saffron in the Kheer (payasam) and that is why is isn't as tasty as it should be ;-P
I settled with pineapple essence and use that or nothing. Saffron, F got me from local shop and I am kinda OK with it. The box itself was not inviting, I know do not judge the book by its cover, but I do - at least in the case of a box of saffron. But I did not give up. May be us going on weekends is the issue, so we tried on weekdays - no stock, weekend day time - no stock. So what if we don't have saffron or vanilla essence, we still can make tasty food. The grapes are sour! and I moved on. Just a few more days and I am off to India.
Last night we went to pick some stuffs for families back home and I consciously listed Saffron in my head. We were picking some cake mixes and I quickly went to check the essences rack (I don't need it anymore but still wanted to check) and NOPE no Vanilla! I mean no one wants any other essence too, because all other essence there are in plenty. I saw couple other women too looking for vanilla. - a sigh of relief! OK, I am not the only unlucky one! Yay! Soon, I asked F to head to the spice counter, and OMG we saw a whole carton of saffron and that too in two different sizes. We just picked two. That was all we wanted.
No other stuffs we shopped mattered to me as much as this tiny bottle of saffron. Somethings just make us happy even if it is very silly. And not that this isn't available in India, I am sure we have our own from Kashmir but Iranian Saffron is world's best and accounts for 90% of world's production. And I have a tiny share for my families back home.
BTW, I have added vanilla essence in the list of items that I need to bring from India next time.
Do you guys have any such experience? Where you went multiple times to get that one thing but never got it? and got it when least expected?