Here at KAUST there are only two places to buy produce: Tamimi and the fruit and vegetable store (yup, that’s what we call it since it doesn’t really have a name).
Tamimi is a supermarket chain from Riyadh. Sometimes they have supply issues and people often says it’s because they need to get their stock delivered from Riyadh. One day you’ll see your brand of baby formula. Next week it’s out of stock for a month. Yes, this is a common occurrence here. Anyway they have a good assortment of produce but it’s a little expensive and the vegetables look sad and wilted sometimes.
The fruit and vegetable store is much cheaper. Their selection isn’t that big but they look fresher than Tamimi’s. We usually do our fruit and vegetable shopping there.
Recently though, we started ordering organic vegetables from Organica (http://www.organica-sa.com/En/Home). They just compile everyone’s orders and make deliveries to KAUST once a week. For 365 SAR you get a vegetable box weekly (for 4 weeks).
Included in the box:
2 kilos of tomatoes
1 kilo cucumbers
1 kilo zucchini
1 kilo eggplants
1 bunch kale
6 organic eggs
It’s actually a lot of food and I’ve frozen a bunch of tomato sauce already. It can be overwhelming for a family of 2 and half people. So for now we’ve paused on the orders and will be ordering individually after we finish all that produce in our fridge. I guess it’s good for either a large family or two small families to share.
Does it taste much better? Honestly I can’t taste the difference. Are they certified organic? Well the website doesn’t display any international certifications so we’ll just have to take their word for it. Anyway I used to sell organic products before so I know that there are actually many farms that are organic but aren’t willing to pay the high fees to get certified. They’re kind of money-making schemes, these certification bodies.
Overall we are satisfied (albeit overwhelmed) with their products.
UPDATE: Unfortunately they stopped delivering to KAUST. The reason they gave was that they only wanted to give us the freshest produce but they could not keep up to their standards because of the distance from their farms. Oh well.