Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Flavours of Morocco

No part of the world is bereft of flavors. Regardless of the number of places one travels to, as long as one is willing to try the local food, one will never be disappointed when searching for food. Every place offers food around the type of local produce of the region. A recent trip to Morocco was a lesson to learn to appreciate food which has a lot of history associated with it. The friendly smiles of the vendors and the experiences have gone down memory lane.
A view from the second floor of the eatery

While walking through the old town Jemma al Fna, on the day I landed, I came across a sweets and savories shop. The food on display was so colorful that it was difficult to take eyes off the shelves. We continued admiring the wares of local craftsmen, like lampshades of brass, trinkets, spices, clothes, shoes, bags, and many more. The hunger pangs soon got the better of us when we stopped by a small eatery where there was very little room. The owner was relishing a soup with 'khubz'. He offered us to taste and then promised us a great fresh cooked meal. His wife and one partner guided us to a sit-out on the second floor from where we could get a lovely view of the souk below and the rising spires of mosques in the distance. 

A spread of Moroccan platters

After half an hour of wait, the steaming tomato broth laced with spices and a whiff of Ras al Hanout( a spice par excellence), a dip prepared with Harissa paste, hummus, and khubz arrived. It was followed with Tajine cooked in an earthenware pot decorated with vegetables and Couscous heaped on a huge tray with a date sauce, nuts, bottle gourd, squash, and peppers. It was an amazing meal with flavors that continued to tingle the taste buds for a long time. We paid an equivalent of eight euros for the entire family. a great value for money. The owner also packed a couple of khubz, complimentary, a sweet gesture indeed! 

An amazing array of desserts

A walk a little further brought us to Patisserie des Princes located in the popular Jemma al Fna. On display were assorted cookies, pastries, chebakias,a massive collection of milkshakes, assorted teas, and above all almond croissants! One bite into these almond croissants was like tasting heaven. No wonder the French who had ruled Morocco for many years had left a legacy of their culinary expertise of croissants for many generations to come. This became our go-to place in days to come. Everywhere we went the smiles from the helpful salesgirls and staff reflected the warmth and hospitality of the people of this little country.

An Almond Croissant

Do not forget to try the biscotti at the little dry fruit sellers. The amazing range of pistachio, almond walnut, and date cookies will leave you asking for more. No matter where you go in Marrakech, the new town Guilez, Jardin Majorelle by Yves Saint Laurent, souks in Jemma al Fna, the aroma of cafe shops, the colorful food items with the most enchanting presentation will be omnipresent. It will leave memories to cherish for a long time. The lip-smacking flavors of Morocco are what memories are made of.

PS- All pictures are mine