They say there’s no place like home for the holidays, but sometimes it’s challenging to make the journey, especially if it requires traveling out of the country.
Ethnic markets allow residents to get the food experience of home without a pricey airline ticket.
Habib’s Mediterranean Market, 2575 S. Decatur Blvd., has been offering Spring Valley residents a taste of home for decades.
Ranging from Abali yogurt soda to Koloocheh cookies, Sarshir cream to Aahu Barah rice, the market carries a wide selection of items.
“We have a good variety of things from different parts of the world,” owner Habib Asad said. “These are the things you cannot go buy in regular stores.”
According to Asad, a Summerlin resident, the market also used to carry meat and produce, but he had to cut back on the amount of product he could offer when he moved to a new location.
“The market is a bit smaller than the (location) I had in the Sahara Pavilion across the street,” Asad said, “but we still have a great selection of other items.”
Attached to the market is Habib’s Persian Cuisine, a restaurant that offers a handful of traditional Mediterranean dishes.
Asad said popular meals include the chelo kabab soltani, a filet mignon kebab with tomatoes and rice; sereshk polo, a chicken breast cooked in barberries with rice; and khoresht fesenjan, chicken marinated in pomegranate sauce with crushed walnuts and rice.
“We have most of the spices and rice (in the market) to make these dishes at home,” Asad said. “It is easier for customers because they can cook the dish any day or at any time.”
Customer Amir Naser said the restaurant’s food is easy on the digestive system.
“Mediterranean food can discourage people because they think the spices will make them sick,” Naser said. “I’ve been here a few times and have not had any problems.”
Originally from Shiraz, Iran, Asad moved to the United States 40 years ago to attend college.
While most immigrants adopt traditional U.S. holidays, Asad said they still celebrate cultural holidays.
“Since (my family is) in this country and has been here for 40 years, we celebrate all the same holidays,” Asad said. “But we also celebrate the Persian New Year.”
According to Asad, Persians celebrate Nowruz, or the New Year, on the first day of spring by doing some spring-cleaning, purchasing new clothes, giving gifts and eating food.
“It’s when everything comes to life,” Asad said. “The grass starts to turn green, and the trees start to bloom.”
Habib’s Mediterranean Market is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Habib’s Persian Cuisine is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For more information, visit habibspersiancuisine.com or call 702-870-0860.
Contact Spring Valley/Southwest View reporter Caitlyn Belcher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0403.