Alexandra Scarlato —
I just wanted to reach out about the wide offering of traditional foods we have in stores to help our customers celebrate Eid al-Fitr in two weeks. While some people are familiar with Ramadan, I think there’s an opportunity for people to learn about the Eid feast.
By 2031 it is estimated that more than seven per cent of the Canadian population will be Muslim*. According to a recent survey, 56 per cent of Canadians believe it’s important that ethnic food products are culturally authentic.** To satisfy Canada’s growing appetite for authentic multicultural food stores have expanded offerings of traditional food for Eid al-Fitr, the feast of fast breaking, which marks the end of Ramadan. Eid is an occasion focused on faith, charity, family and food. Traditional foods include ready-to-eat sweets, hand-slaughtered halal meat, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Eid is the perfect time for Muslim and non-Muslims alike to enjoy food from the Middle East and South Asia.
Eid al-Fitr is sometimes called the sugar feast because sweets take centre stage. Baklava is a crispy and sweet Middle-eastern treat that will disappear from the table faster than you can say Eid Sa‘īd (that means Happy Eid). Rose water and orange blossom water are important ingredients for people preparing their own sweets.
Rasmalai and gulab jamun are popular dishes in South-Asian families’ Eid feasts. Rasmalai and gulab jamun, a uniquely textured dessert of spongy balls soaked in sweet, fragrant syrup. Sheer khurma is a special dish served on the morning of Eid after the prayer. Its ingredients including vermicelli, milk, dates, nuts, raisins and spices can be found in stores.
Halal meat is another area of focus. Stores have many cuts of fresh halal hand-slaughtered chicken that bear the halal hand-slaughtered seal for grilling or roasting. While both Middle-Easterners and South Asians celebrate Eid with grilled meats, South Asians also enjoy spicy dishes like biryani, butter chicken, tandoori or korma also made with halal hand-slaughtered meat.
Salty Eid side dishes and snacks from the Middle East include olives and pickles. A range of hearty pitas are waiting to complement dips like creamy baba ghanouj and chick pea hummus made with tahini.
For South-Asian flavours, produce sections are loaded with veggies including cauliflower and eggplant for sides like crispy fried veggies as well as fresh cucumber, onion, ginger and mint for refreshing dips like raita.
Alexandra Scarlato represents Loblaws