Garlic Goodness

When I first moved to Michigan, I discovered a rich garlic dipping cream at a catered event, at which we were served Arabic food. I’d never seen, heard of, or tasted the cream before, so I did a little investigation and found out they sold it at Ali Baba’s.

Forward a couple of years, and I’ve been going to Ali Baba’s twice a month to shell out $1.36 for the sauce (sometimes charging it to my debit card, much to the chagrin of the cashier dude).

Last night, I finally asked the guy what the origin of the sauce was.

“Yeah, but where?”
“Um, let me ask this guy.” Yells to guy in the kitchen: “Where’s the sauce from?”
“The Middle East.”
“Where in the Middle East?” I said.
“The whole Middle East.”
“No, I’ve never heard of it before.”
Blank stare.
“I grew up there.”
“Kuwait and Egypt, and a little in Palestine.”
“Egypt is not in the Middle East.”
“Of course it is.”
“No. The Middle East is Lebanon and Syria.”
“And a few other places.”
“I can’t hear you.” (He gets out of the kitchen and comes to the counter.)
“Where did the sauce originate?”
“With me, honey. I make the sauce. I’m the one who makes it.”
“What’s in it?”
“Garlic, lemon, salt.”
“And oil.”
“What kind of oil?”
“What else? It tastes heavy.”
“Corn oil. It makes it taste better.”
“Right. Thanks!”
“Egypt isn’t the Middle East.”
“Okay. Bye.”

I went home and enjoyed the sauce with Mr. Rockslinga and Mini Rockslinga. We are still licking our chops. Also: we know where the Middle East starts and ends.

6 thoughts on “Garlic Goodness

  1. This sauce is a classic at roast chicken places in Lebanon. I love it… I found a decent recipe for it one time and made it for a potluck. The Palestinian ladies couldn’t believe how good it was – they complimented me, which believe me they don’t do to “be nice” about food.

    I’ll get you the recipe when I come back. Insomnia this morning, I leave in about 7 hours for NYC and Beirut.

    The sauce is easy to make. Don’t let the guy s***t you. And yes, it seems like an aioli, but it has no egg. Sometimes they used a potato mashed up to thicken it.

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