Africa: Algerians Want Cooking Oil-But it’s an Extravagance/Fighting Over Milk

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Pouring extra virgin olive oil on a vintage metal spoon. Selective focus on spoon. Useful copy space available for text and/or logo. Predominant colors are gold, green and brown. High resolution 42Mp studio digital capture taken with Sony A7rii and Sony FE 90mm f2.8 macro G OSS lens

Food prices are climbing sharply in Algeria, where shoppers say cooking oil and milk are so scarce that you need to butter up shopkeepers to get any.

The impact of measures to deal with first the coronavirus pandemic and now the war in Ukraine is making life hard for consumers.

“It feels like buying drugs,” says Samiha Sammer, 31, with a mixture of cynicism and revulsion.

A woman looking at a shelf in a supermarket
Algerians desperately seeking cooking oil, milk, and more.

She used to love making cakes for family and friends, even making a side income from her passion, but she can no longer find all the ingredients she needs.

“To buy cooking oil from any grocery shop, you need to be an acquaintance of the shop owner,” Ms. Sammer explains.

The exchange usually takes place discreetly, with the precious supply kept hidden at the back of the shop.

Like many Algerians, she noticed things changing last year as Covid measures began to bite.

Now, with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan due to start at the weekend, Algerians have been stepping up efforts to get hold of cooking oil as it’s a vital ingredient in so many of the unique dishes eaten during the month.

You can read the rest of the story here. BBC World News first published this article.




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