Growing up with grandparents named Habib and Zizzi, it’s kind of a given that I know about Gaganis. As a child, I would spend countless days with my Egyptian, French speaking Papa and Grandma. After enduring yet another The Young and the Restless episode with weird satanic undertones, feeding the ducks, and eating so many Doritos I thought I would die, the day would often end with a trip to Gaganis Brothers’ imported food warehouse.
As a six-year-old, I remember thinking that Gaganis was some kind of maze. There was no end to the aisles and aisles of products I’d never seen or even heard about before. Mallee root, Marjoram, Origanum Volgare, Nostimi? No idea buddy.
While my grandparents dropped casually racist lines about ‘those Italians’, and ‘that big fat Greek man’ who I never saw, but apparently always pushed in front of them in the cheese line, I would roam the warehouse in my own world. I didn’t feel like I was in Adelaide anymore. I would imagine I was in some kind of Arabian marketplace that admittedly was modeled off a level in Crash Bandicoot 3. The smells were different, the sounds were different, and the entire atmosphere was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.
Even now, Gaganis is an escape from reality. As soon as you step out of your car, you’re not in Adelaide anymore; you’re in a Europe-wide communal marketplace. Though I still have no idea what half, hell, most of their products are (though they all look declicious), the best part about Gaganis is that when I’m there, 20-year-old me feels like 6-year-old me again. I can almost hear the Crash Bandicoot 3 Arabian theme tune right now.
Gaganis Imported Food Warehouse 9/13 Bacon (mmm bacon) Street, Hindmarsh SA 5007
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