TOP UNDERRATED QUARANTINE SNACKS: MIDDLE EAST MARKET

. March 26, 2020.
Middle East Market Quarantine Snacks
A formidable underrated quarantine snack medley from Middle East Market.

Because the plethora of specialty markets around Toledo is pretty insanely awesome, we’ve decided to make Top Underrated Quarantine Snacks into a series featuring markets around the city. This week’s edition spotlights a few of the prime social-distancing munchies to be found at Middle East Market (4623 W Bancroft), the well-stocked market that appends notable Lebanese grill Sidon. (In addition to the snacks, note that this Middle East Market is one of the few markets in town that still stocks fresh chicken.)

Specialty grocery shopping at its finest. (Credit: Courtesy of Middle East Market)

Specialty grocery shopping at its finest. (Credit: Courtesy of Middle East Market)

Now, onward to the snacks:

Pureed Garlic Sauce

Middle East Market Garlic Sauce Toledo Ohio Sidon Lebanese Grill

This garlic sauce is life changing. (Credit: SF)

Perhaps the best overlooked news in all of this madness is the fact that Middle East Market sells cartons of its pureed garlic sauce, which is life changing. It’s a creamy blend of spreadable garlic that boosts pretty much any savory food item you try it on. In fact, I challenge you to find a food item that it doesn’t immediately elevate to the flavoral stratosphere. You’re welcome in advance.

 

Sparkling Vimto Fruit Flavor Drink

Basically British Faygo Red Pop (Credit: SF)

Basically British Faygo Red Pop (Credit: SF)

It’s a British Faygo Red Pop, except it’s a little more brown-red, the color of a fruitier Dr Pepper. Goes great with a woodsy bourbon over rocks.

Pumpkin Seeds

For a salty crunchy nosh, look to the bulk foods section. (Credit: SF)

For a salty crunchy nosh, look to the bulk foods section. (Credit: SF)

Roasted, heavily salted and crunchy, the dried pumpkin seeds found in the bulk foods section of Middle East Market are ideal snack companions for the hours of D-list sports programming networks like ESPN have substituted in lieu of the basketball tournaments everyone who cares about sports is disappointed got cancelled. The dried pumpkin seeds pair exceptionally well with the canine long-jump event at the Great Outdoor Games though.

Dried Kiwis

Sweet, and funkily so. (Credit: SF)

Sweet, and funkily so. (Credit: SF)

Surprisingly grainy and funkier in flavor than their fresh counterparts, dried kiwis are a snack that, once you get munching, can either prove difficult quit or encourage moderation and impose self-restraint. It’s all about whether you’re OK with the texture, which seems to dissolves into a mineral finish after a few bites.

Shatta Red Hot Pepper Sauce

The quintessential shawarma accompaniment, also works amazingly spicing up starches of all varieties. (Credit: SF)

The quintessential shawarma accompaniment, also works amazingly spicing up starches of all varieties. (Credit: SF)

Shatta Red Hot Pepper Sauce leans on the saltier side with a whisper of smoke. Sure, the kick is present, but think of the sauce as more of a flavor enhancer for usually bland, starchy side dishes like rice or potatoes. And if you live with someone who cooks chicken in boring ways (i.e. the oven or, heaven forbid, boiling), this salty chili sauce may well save your life.