Ghraoui, one of the city’s most exclusive sweet shops is the feature of a New York Times article. Perhaps because of the power of New York’s Syrian community, or just the increasing world focus on Iraq’s neighbour.
Ghraoui has been around for 200 years. It is located on Sharia Abu Roumaneh, the embassy district, and the city’s most affluent road. The owner says his speciality of dried fruits was copied by the French during their time ruling Syria. Those fruit confits are now to be found in exclusive roadside Parisien cafes.
Their tiny dried fruits are picked when they are still small. Baby apples grow on the hills above Damascus.
I remember eating chocolate coated coffee beans from Ghraoui’s shop near Saa’hat Yousef Al-Azmeh just two days before the war started in Iraq. I’ll always associate the taste of bitter coffee flavoured chocolate with fear and trepidation. We sat in a cafe just round the corner from Azmeh.
And if you can’t live without Ghraoui’s conconctions, I suggest you try Semiramis – equally expensive, and located in Sha’lan, near Pitstop and the Benneton store.
It is articles like this that will show the West the real face of life in Syria – no more politics, no more borders, just sweets. Or at least one very upmarket face.