Written and Test-Kitchened by Stephanie Siam
Being from the Southern United States, I grew up on certain staples that can be difficult to replace after converting to Islam: lots of processed junk food, questionable meat products and, of course, Lucky Charms. While my heart and gut are thankful for my (slightly) healthier diet now, it’s often hard to please my nostalgic taste buds when it comes to traditional family favorites.
Moving to the Middle East made it even trickier to reproduce these dishes due to lack of necessary ingredients. Sure, I can find halal items easily, but now I have limited access to brands I’ve grown up on.
Of course, the times when I get most foodly-sentimental are when I a) see a long-loved favorite in the grocery store that imports American items and b) around Thanksgiving. Sure, lots of expats (Americans living abroad) celebrate Thanksgiving over here in Oman.