I’ll be one of the first to admit that English is one of the most messed up languages in the world – which is probably why it is so prevalent. Despite the difficulties, it is so flexible that anyone can use it. Close enough is usually good enough! However, it can make it tricky when you are actually looking for something.
I needed corn starch, and looked all over my favorite grocery store for it. It wasn’t with the flour or sugar. It wasn’t with the cakes or other mixes. It wasn’t in the spice aisle. I finally found it on a lower shelf, near the food colorings and flavorings (which were close to the cereals and jams and such, not the baking goods). I almost didn’t see it because it was so close to the floor, the photo didn’t grab my eye (dessert, which is applicable but had nothing to do with the corn, which I was mentally focusing on) and the spelling nearly threw me. Next to this, I saw several other brands… including one with a font that looked as if it were dripping with white blood. I chose this brand because it ‘won’ – it caught my eye.
One point for Flavor Mills and their Strach, and one point for me for finding yet another kitchen need. Next on the scavenger hunt list: Cream of tartar! Apparently it exists here, but not where I’ve looked.
Also – check out this website on herbs. This is an awesome website!! I went to a garden shop to get some mint (na’na’ in Arabic) to grow in my garden, and the shopkeeper offered other herbs too. I could recognize the look and smell of oregano – my nose was all stuffed up, but it is strong. They called it za’tar, which I know is a common name for oregano, even though za’tar is actually a mix of herbs and spices. They also offered another plant that looked, to me, like sage, but I couldn’t smell it at the time. They called it Marimiyah. I got some even though I wasn’t sure what it was, because… well, why not? I like herbs! I looked it up on this website – which you can search in English and many other languages – and yes, it was indeed sage.