Eating Halal in a non-Muslim Country
Travelling to distant, far-off places is desired by almost everybody. Who could resist the temptation of enjoying a relaxing time with their family, getting close to nature and relishing some new tastes and cuisines? However, for a Muslim to survive overseas, one of their topmost concerns would be the availability of halal food.
Well, there’s absolutely no reason to get disappointed. Even if you don’t find proper Islamic halal food in your vicinity, here are a few tips we would like to share with you, on how to eat halal food even when restaurants don’t seem to offer it.
- Go in for veggies: This option is quite easy to manipulate since vegetarian food is available almost everywhere. You only need to check that it is not cooked with alcohol. Get friendly with the waiter/ chef and know about the ingredients. Doing this could save your skin in a foreign place.
- Opt for seafood: You can have seafood like fish, crab and lobster when eating outside to rule out the possibility of not eating halal. Just follow the same precaution of enquiring with the server about the ingredients (i.e. check that alcohol isn’t on the list).
- Carry some snacks in your bag: When in a foreign place with no knowledge of halal restaurants, a pack of biscuits or a bunch of dried nuts or a bar of chocolate could come along as a life-saver. Until you find a restaurant with halal food, you could either keep a stock of ready-to-eat stuff in your handbag or shop for it at local stores. Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s are two most sought after grocery store chains in USA, where you could find your kind of stuff.
- Cook for yourself: Well, if you don’t wish to run any risks of accidently consuming non-halal foods at all, the best way out is to cook for yourself. Carry some basic utensils and an electric cooker if possible and shop for fresh fruits, vegetables and other stuff in the local markets. To get an idea about the best markets in your destination, browse the websites HubPages and LocalHarvest for a detailed list of markets outside and inside the U.S. respectively.
- Get some online information: To savour halal food in western countries like Italy, France, Mexico and some American nations, you must be well versed with the names given to alcohol and pork in their respective national languages. You could get online information related to this on MyHalaKitchen.com. Look up on the ‘Eating Out’ page on this website and viola; you get all the necessary details within a few seconds.
- Buy simple and natural foodstuffs: You can alternatively shop for fresh fruits, bakery products, readymade juices, bread & butter and thus considerably satiate your hunger pangs. The best part is that you could be 100% sure of its Islamic halal authenticity.
- Ask a friend: If you already have a friend in the country that is your destination, you can save yourself a lot of effort by simply asking for his advice. You could also make some new friends with local people, who could help you find the right place for dining.
Insha’Allah, your honest efforts for finding halal food would definitely be rewarded by Allah SWT . Here’s praying for your safe journey!
Sumayya has a bachelor’s degree in Professional English (with distinction). Currently, she is about to pursue Masters degree in High level English. Interests include reading novels, writing articles and social activities.