Morocco has a habit of attacking all your senses at once. It can be somewhat overwhelming in the beginning, all the different scents and sounds and sights all around you. To an outsider it all seems completely chaotic, but the locals seem to have found a special solace in their way of life. And even to an outsider, there’s something uniquely riveting in it all.
More than the chaos, though, I find myself missing the local kitchens and their plentiful offerings.
I don’t even know where to begin.
The delicious tagines filled with succulent meats – usually chicken, but if you’re lucky you’ll find some camel as well – cooked in traditional clay pots and flavored with sweet saffron and other local spices invade my dreams on a regular basis, and no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to replicate these dishes in my own kitchen.
Another impossible-to-forget dish is the pastilla au pigeon, a traditional pigeon pie dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Incredibly odd, and incredibly delicious.
As night falls, the Djemaa el Fna square in Marrakech transforms into a massive outdoor market with endless rows of food stalls. Stacks of local pastries made with rich honey and roasted nuts resemble shaky skyscrapers while laying next to a bubbling sheep stew, with some fish skewers on the opposite side.
Here you can easily try anything and everything Moroccan cuisine has to offer.
And you might even run into a snake charmer or two while you’re at it!