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What Went Down at Global Village.

When I'm stuffed to the point of delirium, a wire in my brain snaps and I come up with these freakish doodles in my head. Ideally, the doodle dies before I get around to writing a post. But sometimes, it childishly sneaks its way onto my blog.

Delirium is what happens when you go to a fairground like Global Village with a group of foodies. All of whom have obviously come there specifically to eat.

Fellow bloggers from Fooderati Arabia — Didi, Dee and Mishti — plus my two buddies, Rads and Bellay (an endearingly nicknamed foodie soul mate whose trip to Dubai was well-timed for this binging excursion) all ganged up together to cover as much ground as we could...tasting, smelling, drinking, digesting (but miserably failing to digest anything because we'd always see some other TreatWeMustTry the second we'd attempt to stop eating.) A special mention to Nausheen, the Dubai Bites blogger who was there with us in spirit. Her post on the Top 10 Eats at Global Village was printed out by Dee and followed by us like the gospel. I think Dee may have gone on to laminate her (now grease-stained?) printed copy of that post.

Here's a little round-up of most of the things we sampled or saw being devoured at Global Village. I say 'most' because my photo of the minced meat Turkish lahmacun looked like it had been shot in a dust storm and was incredibly unusable, even by my barely-existent standards. And because I never got around to snapping a photo of the addictive home-baked Butterscotch cake that Mishti had graciously brought for us to sample. I crammed the last butterscotch chunk into my mouth on my drive home — because clearly, all the eating at Global Village and delirium thereafter had not triggered the "I'm FREAKING FULL" signal to my brain yet.

Hit your left and right arrow keys to circle through the round-up.
[psst. don't miss the captions at the bottom,  I've put my heart, soul and a crapload of brain cells into keeping, contrary to my usual rambles, the captions concise.]

Slide 1

Emirati Regag

A crunchy crepe with eggy innards that was about to ROCK my world on that first bite, and then...


Slide 3

Egyptian Sesame-Coated Candied Nuts

A NUT's path to Stardom:

Toast up, bathe in honey, tumble around in some sesame, and lay about promiscuously for all to see
...you'll be a crowd-pleaser in no time.

Slide 13

Yemeni Coffee

Freshly ground Yemeni coffee powder whose intoxicating aroma (and charming salesman) won't let you leave without buying a bag.

Slide 9

Palestinian Falafel

So insanely crunchy and devastatingly good on the outside, that you...you sorta forget what's on the inside.

Slide 10

Spanish Churros

Contorted sticks of deep-fried and sugared dough that looked like dessert, smelled like dessert, and tasted like...french fries?!
Even a side of hot fudge dip couldn't save these over-salted babies.

Slide 6

Turkish Kumpir

The outrageously popular mammoth-stuffed potato that might leave you wondering:

...will the petite cupcake fad finally be ousted by an overstuffed spud?

Slide 14

Yemeni Honey

Thick luscious honey that's marketed with such intense healing properties that suddenly, a cup of honey with a drop of tea sounds like a BRILLIANT idea.

Slide 17

Freshly Squeezed Pomegranate Juice

The sweet refreshing drink you'll need to perk yourself up before food-tasting #19 at Global Village.

Slide 7

Turkish Baklava

When you're shy about indulging in Sugar and Ghee and Hazelnut sprinkles, hide under a thick phyllo blanket and commit the crime.

Slide 8

Turkish Guzleme

A super light, flaky feta and parsley crepe that promises to be your magic carpet ride to a whole new gobsmackingly yummy world.

Slide 4

Egyptian Koshary

The carb-loaded mountain of oily noodles, macaroni, zesty tomato sauce and crispy fried onions that warmed my heart with the first few spoonfuls.


And eventually caused heartburn a plateful later.

Slide 11

Tunisian Banbalouni

The impossibly poofy deep-fried, sugar-dusted doughnut with a Tunisian name that's so catchy, I'd want to name my kids after it.

Slide 2

Emirati Lgeimat

In those moments when you're too stupidly full to cram even a pea down your throat,
photographing these deep-fried baby globes dunked in date syrup will satiate your inner artist.

Slide 12

Turkish Ice Cream

The ice cream that's served with a deafening clanking of bells and naughty cone-inverting tricks...but that ultimately doesn't live up to the show.

Slide 5

Mexican Shawarma

Charcoal-grilled slivers of spicy chicken and garlic butter-slathered fries, all cuddled together in a crisped up, thinner cousin of the traditional khubz.
T'is truly a shawarma that takes the hat...sombrero.

Slide 15

Ice Cream from Unnamed Pavilion X

An English teacher's worst nightmare.

Slide 16

Dutch Mini Pancakes

Baby pancake pillows with icing sugar and your choice of topping.
They MUST be healthier* than full-blown pancakes, right?

*Healthier is based on my unscientific estimation of a serving size of 1 baby topping-free pancake. Icing sugar and Nutella are merely serving suggestions and not included in calorie count.

Slide 18

Tunisian Banbalouni
[I loved it so much...had to do a retake.]

Krispy Kreme, MOVE OVER.

Other foodalicious posts on Global Village:


  1. OMG..I so much liked this post..your doodle is hilarious…it really shows how much food fun you all had :) your pictures are brilliant, they almost make me to reach out and pick some from the screen. It seems that even boring vegetarians like me have many many options there, and next time I go there, I will keep a bottle of hajmola ( digestive balls) handy to help make room for more and more :)

  2. Nausheen

    Your drawing is hilarious. I love the photos. My DSLR was being repaired and I had to take my photos w/ a crappy point and shoot. (Not that my photos would ever be this good, even if I had a proper camera with me). This post confirms I need to go back to try Babaloni, and take some more photos!

  3. A lotta food went down..and we fell damn hard! Such a funny post! Best food trip evah! I can’t wait for later this evening :-) Wooohooo!

  4. Arva your pics are amazing, but I especially love the honey picture, it is beautifully delicious!! Sounds like you gals had a great time :))

    • InaFryingPan

      @Raji – OMG. It’s been ages since someone mentioned hajmola. I NEED to buy me a stack of those digestive wonders so I can be EVEN more gluttonous in life.

      @Nausheen – oh hells yeah, those banbalounis deserve a glamour shot. And thanks again for the 10 worthy tips, it gave us some level of direction in that gigantic maze of food choices.

      @Didi – you are a STAR organizer. And my banbalouni buddy forever more now. Thanks for making this happen. HUGS.

      @Dima’s Kitchen – Thank you!! It was Girls (+ bellay) Go Wild at Global Village. Actually, THAT should have been the title of my post…

  5. Sally

    The doodle is great, the pictures are stunning. Please invite me to the christening when you name your children banbaloni! And thanks for the English teacher’s nightmare pic – started my day with a very big laugh.

  6. Nice pics…like the Yemeni honey one a lot.
    The falafels we had were from Palestine (unless you sneaked a Syrian one in when we weren’t looking haha)…oh and I was googling the sh*t out of "banbalooni" and found NOTHING on the internet (how is that possible), so I went looking for phonetically similar words, and found it’s actually called "bambalouni" … and it indeed is the Tunisian donut as Didi said it was.
    Oh and someone else has my greasy print out!!! They better own up, haha.

  7. haha, had to comment about your sketch!! Hand drawn with crayons?

  8. ninu

    all of a sudden i feel remorse… why oh why dint i name my child banbalouni? So perfect. So wacky. Here , this is my son – Banbalouni…Come here baby B.
    Dear old sweet stranger – What is your name dear child?
    BANBALOUNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII……. ( cant u imagine a child havign so much fun with a name like that? ….Either that or i can imagine him growing up forever closeted in his room doodling images killing me off for having named him that ….)
    Looks like i ll have to have another one fast. Although considering my dark circles another one might not be such a good idea for the next 5 years… maybe i ll just to Global village and eat some baby Bs instead…
    =) So glad to see you back in action Arva. =) And i love your pics. especially the honey one… and your artistry up ..so perfect… have you by any chance taken drawing classes? =D

  9. farwin

    I can’t wait to get to Global village again just to taste these,braving the long walk with kids.Awesome pics,Arva!

    • InaFryingPan

      @Sally – you know, I was sniggering to myself and totally had your face in mind when I wrote that caption! hahaha…never gonna be able to look at choculute the same way again ;)

      @Devina Divecha – Ah thanks, corrected Syria -> Palestine! And darling, even though I like bums in banbalouni, it’s banbalouni all the way…at least as per Hello Tunisia http://hellotunisia.tn/albums/tunis/ ;)
      …and yay! now you can laminate greasy printout!

      @elainegan -aw come now, gimme some credit. I have graduated to digital media hun, it’s Paintbrush all the way ;)

      @ninu – aaah I have missed your funny comments! I think your child would have had a serious social integration issue with that kind of a name, kids are SO demanding these days. ;)
      And thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you liked the picks and doodle! I took drawing classes back in high school…but if my art teacher were to see this, I think she’d be quite…devastated.

      @farwin – Sally mentioned the concept of Segues to me last night. Methinks they should have segues at Global Village so you can cover more distance quickly. More distance = MORE FOOD.

  10. This is an amazing list, and I love the photos! Global Village reminds me of this convention that used to happen every year in the US when I was growing up. It was called SPRIFF and I have no idea what it stands for but that is where I learned to love eating lots of food from different countries. That and the World Showcase at Epcot in Disney World.

  11. sabirahm

    Wow…that looks delicious! I would have to make several trips to be able to eat all that. I always end up being outside of Dubai during Global Village. I went when it first opened and it was pretty empty…so I didn’t really get to enjoy it.

    • InaFryingPan

      @Sarah – Thank you :) I love global taste round-ups, best way to teach children their geography in my opinion. Eat through the map. ;)
      PS. moms out there, take note. If someone had made me eat a banbalouni while marking out tunisia on the map, I would remember it for the rest of time.

      @sabirahm – …which is why you don’t make several trips, you take several ’people’ with you instead and do a teeny taster portion of each thing. More mouths to feed, more opportunities to experiment!

2 Trackbacks

  1. By You know food bloggers are close by when… » D for Delicious 9 Feb ’12 at 9:18 am

  2. By 10 Power Tips for your Global Village trip » D for Delicious 9 Feb ’12 at 9:20 am

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