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Cairo/Alexandria: no-hassle places to pick up some common Egyptian spices?

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Cairo/Alexandria: no-hassle places to pick up some common Egyptian spices?

mdonley | Dec 24, 2011 02:43 PM

I'll be in Cairo and Alexandria around New Year and I'm looking to find some spice mixes and herbs that are tricky to find here in Poland: things like sumac, za'atar, dukkha, ras-el-hanout (used in Egypt?), plus a nice bag of hibiscus/"karkadey" to make tea with.

Is my best bet the food markets around Bab al-Luq or Sharia Tawfiqiya or Sharia Qalaa, as the Rough Guide to Cairo suggests? Or can I pick these things up in better/more travel-friendly packages at, say, a giant supermarket in a shopping mall? Any advice? I'm happy to try to navigate the food markets but it's a bit intimidating, as I don't speak Arabic beyond tourist pleasantries! :)

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