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Monday, January 23, 2017

Bringing Home the Bacon

On Friday morning we headed across the river to Maadi, the center of western culture in Cairo.  Maadi has a long history as the center of the ex-pat community.  The appearance of this district is very distinct with tree-lined streets and squares and a much slower pace of traffic.

Many people describe it as havng a European look and you are as likely as not going to see other westerners on every block.

We were on a mission to buy some pork at a local butcher-shop.  There is no pork to be found in any supermarket or restaurant in nearly all parts of Cairo.  There is bacon on the pizza and bacon on the burgers at Chili's - but it is beef bacon.  OK, but not the same as we are used to.  Pork is available either in the Christian area or here in Maadi where the ex-pats live.

If you ever wondered whether U. S. State Department employees truly live in a bubble, I suggest you read this blog post written by a State Department employee living in Maadi.

We have purchased imported pork at a German shop in Maadi in the past but wanted to also sample the local product.  We got directions to a shop from our acquaintance, Maryanne Stroud, after spotting a ham sandwich on her Facebook page. "... on Road 9, go past Cheers, then look to the right down the alley."

Cheers is one of the local liquor stores and here you can see one of the staff opening the door to show me in.  We had arrived at a particularly bad time - during Friday noon prayers - for buying liquor and the doors were deferentially closed for a while.  But don't worry, "Come, come ..." said the gentleman in the Cheers jacket.

Around the corner we spotted the sign for Chris Mena Pork Shop.  "Informal" probably best describes the atmosphere.   A French lady who had arrived by bicycle was making a purchase as Linda checked out the selection of fresh and frozen items in the freezers on the alley.

Prices are clearly marked on the sign - and you can see it is a Christian shop as well.  Your guess is as good as mine about what "Moxer" is.  I can, however, explain "Bear kg."  The letters "B" and "P" are relatively interchangeable since they are pronounced the same.  The intent is to say "per kg."
Bacon-4 Bacon-5

We bought a roast, some of those loin chops, sausage, bacon and ham.  Prices were quite reasonable:

Item $/lb
Sliced Ham 3.61
Sausage links 2.52
Bacon 3.14
Pork Roast 2.14
Loin Chops 3.11

 Our late afternoon meal consisted of ham sandwiches and potato soup with bacon.

Chris Mena's can be found in Maadi on the west side of Road 9 between Street 75 and Street 76.  (It is on Google Maps.) Don't expect anyone there to recognize those street names or that you will find a sign.  Besides Cheers, there is a corner grocery store on the east side of the street a bit farther south with a good looking selection of wines.  Good luck.


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