Photo by Nicole Lopez del Carril
If you’ve been feeling stuck in a routine with foods of the Sama dining hall, seek some variety at Food Queen Honey, where you can cast aside Al Safa’s generic honey and add a new flavor to your baked goods and teas.
A neighbor of Sama tower, Food Queen Honey is a shop frequently passed by and not often explored by students or staff. However, for those who venture in, Food Queen Honey boasts a vast array of honey. Though all varieties are originally from Yemen, they each have a unique quality, taste, color and story.
Yisar Saidiya is one of the shopkeepers from Yemen who came to Abu Dhabi seven years ago. In Yemen, he worked in the honey business and tended to the beehives, producing honey similar to the types sold in his shop. In Abu Dhabi, he helps curious customers to find a kind of honey suitable for their needs.
Like varieties of coffee or tea, honey has various qualities and functions. There is honey for those losing weight, honey for children to grow strong and honey for women’s health. Students hitting the gym can try the honey specially made for muscle growth. The honeys differ in color and taste, depending on the type of bee, the trees and the season of the year. They range from thick golden syrups to dark brown liquid honeys, which compliment an early-morning earl gray tea.
Students looking for a cheaper option should try the honey from the Yemeni countryside. This honey can be found on display in fish bowl-like glass bulbs on the counter selling for 100 AED per kilo. However, those students who want to commit to a honey investment should try the honeys on the back wall, the best, most expensive varieties, which can be poured into a jar or bottle for any willing customer, ranging from 600 to 800 AED per kilo.
Check out Food Queen Honey and pour yourself something sweet this midterm week.
Food Queen Honey is behind Sama Tower. Walk towards Foodlands and proceed straight ahead to the shop with yellow and orange decorations. If you would like to test out different honeys, be sure to take an Arabic speaker along, preferably one of our Yemeni students who can translate each honey’s story.