Kartik Pejavara ('20)
Mediterranean food is served in households and restaurants all around the world. From Italy in Europe, to Morocco in Africa, to Turkey in the Middle East, this type of food finds its roots in a diverse group of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
In the United States, mediterranean food has greatly increased in popularity. Restaurants serving mediterranean food have popped up even in our local area, such as Norma’s, Taboulee, and Zoe’s Kitchen.
However, not many stores nearby sell mediterranean food or ingredients that could be used to make mediterranean dishes at home. Awad Mazahra noticed this, and decided to do something about it.
In 2018, Mazahra opened the Ammon Mediterranean Market on 853 Cooper Landing Road. The market is small, but it has a lot in store. From hummus, to falafil, to baba ghanouj, Ammon offers a variety of mediterranean food. Most of the food is packaged to be prepared at home.
In addition to traditional mediterranean food, the store offers basic ingredients such as vegetables and raw wheat, for those who want to make their food from scratch. For customers with a sweet tooth, the market offers mediterranean snacks and desserts.
The Ammon Market is unique because you can buy food here that is not available at other typical grocery stores. In addition, all of the food is foreign. Most of the packaging is written in Arabic, while others are written in French. The food sold at the Ammon Mediterranean Market is the closest to authentic mediterranean food one can get in the United States. In fact, that is one of the main reasons Mazahra opened Ammon in Cherry Hill.
“People are in need of this type of food,” Mazahra said.
Not only does Mazahra want to expose mediterranean food to those who have never tried it before, but he also wants to meet the current demand for it. There are many people in the area who have grown up in another country eating mediterranean food. Mazahra wants to bring a piece of their home back to them.
But there’s got to be other mediterranean places around here, right? Well, not necessarily. Most mediterranean places are restaurants. But restaurants don’t offer the freedom and experience that comes from making one’s own mediterranean dish. Ammon offers people that opportunity by selling them what they need.
“Best prices and best quality” are what the Ammon Mediterranean Market strives for, according to Mazahra.
When asked what the most popular items were, Mazahra could not give a definitive response. He listed hummus, olives, raw wheat, yogurt drinks, and baba ghanouj, but really, everything sells. More than just one of his items goes into making a mediterranean dish. And in a town like Cherry Hill, not much is known about making mediterranean food. The only way to find out is through experience, and Ammon offers that experience.
So if you’re wondering what to make and in the mood for something new, head on down to the Ammon Mediterranean Market. No matter what you decide to make, it’s bound to bring a new part of the world into your kitchen.