As I sit here, about to upload my favourite designs and reviews from the non-Omani designers featured at Muscat fashion week, I hold occasionally in my hand a beautiful (non-alcoholic) cocktail of my own design. How I love the sweetness (without the puply mungy blah at the end aftertaste) of Salalah bananas. How cute they are, so small and fat, like happy little babies. And nothing is better than blending them up with Dhofari coconut milk (oh, ok, so my morning's beverage is not a Dhofar coconut blend---instead an Al Batinah farm varient of a coconut tree long ago whisked away from misty Salalah shores but...) and drinking such a treat first thing in the morning. I know alot of expats complain about what isn't available---or is at a dreadful price---in Omani grocer's isles, but really, once you get to know your local produce you won't mind.
I live where Muscat expat staples don't come even from the Lulu so I have had to learn to cook what I love. And I have. And it has added a little touch of luxury to my days truly. To have restaurant quality food at home (most days, I admit, I still overcook things from time to time) instead of frozen or overprocessed others... is, well, perfection.
If you get to know the wide variety of Omani fish available you'll have more choices than in Europe once you know how to cook it. When it comes to local vegetables use local greens in your dishes. COOK WITH SEASONAL vegetables instead of complaining about the prices of imports. The best chefs do.
And for fresh meat?
You can buy a whole cow or goat or lamb and have it cut fresh here, so there's no excuse to not have quality cuts and freshness. The local butcher can handle that for you. Get to know the local farmers to get discounts. And learn how to cut different cuts of meat and what you can make out of the stuff you thought you'd never use. I made my own hot dog sausages once. VERY TASTY on a friday night barbecue.
If you invest in a freezer you won't have to worry about the freshness or quality of grocery store meats if you visit the farms where you buy your animals and see what they're eating.
In my city way back where in a land far far away, they're doing this thing called the 100 mile challenge, which is sourcing all your food in a 100 mile radius. It is proven to be healthier, and it's a new trend. It is PRETTY easy for anyone in the Muscat, Al Batinah, and Al Dakliyah regions of Oman, and possible for the majority of items elsewhere in the Sultanate, unless you are desert-bound oil company employee living on rations.