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Marrakech Morocco - recommendations?


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#1 Louisa Chu

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 06:22 AM

I'm not going to believe it until I actually get there - and have that first bite of food in my mouth - but it looks like I'm going to Marrakech for a few days this fall. I'm so excited but I'm trying to suppress my expectations - this is one of the cities in the world that I've always wanted to visit for as far back as I can remember. This will be my first time there - my first time in the country and on the continent. There are some wonderful threads here about Moroccan food, cooking, and cookware but I was hoping to get some current information specifically about Marrakech. I have my list and some cooks will be showing me around but I would appreciate your sharing any recent personal experiences about food, travel, shopping, and customs in this city.

What should I eat and drink and where? What should I bring home, where will I find it - and I should pay no more than how much? How should I dress and conduct myself?

And yes, of course I look forward to eating at Djemaa el Fna - and I can only hope to feast on freshly roasted lamb's testicles.

Here are some of the links I'm consulting:

eGullet thread - Morocco

eGullet thread - Moroccan Tagine Cooking

Paula Wolfert

Ya Rayi Our Rai (chefzadi's multi-author blog)

Wikipedia - Marrakech

Moroccan National Office of Tourism

"Inside Marrakech" - (Saveur article by Dorothy Kalins, March 1998)

CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) - Morocco

Edited by Louisa Chu, 21 September 2005 - 06:24 AM.


#2 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 06:54 AM

I have my list and some cooks will be showing me around but I would appreciate your sharing any recent personal experiences about food, travel, shopping, and customs in this city.

What should I eat and drink and where? What should I bring home, where will I find it - and I should pay no more than how much? How should I dress and conduct myself?

View Post


Louisa, I was in (then called French Morocco) Morocco in the fifties, as a child of a military family who was stationed in Casablanca for two years. We often drove down to Marrakesh on our vacations from school and found it fascinating and, of course, exotic. I have vivid memories of visiting the Djemaa el Fna and my father walking over to see the snake charmers. One wrapped a cobra around my father's neck and, for a price, said he would remove it ... I recall everyone laughing and I was terrified.

The smells of food grilling on open fires there and the sounds were so unique that they are still with me. The fact that you will have "some cooks showing me around" will be helpful to making your experience a full one. I loved the authentic cuisine and Paula Wolfert will no doubt add her own advice here as well. For me, the bisteeya, hot mint tea, washing one's hands with rose petal water, was all quite wonderful! Honored guests at Moroccan feasts are often served the sheep's eyeballs as a mark of respect.

detailed information on the foods and serving of meals here

from Sally's Place website (scroll down to The Moroccan Kitchen)

Shopping in the souk meant a lot of "speak last price" from the merchants. We bought brass and copper engraved trays, pots for mint tea, a couscous pot (tagine), and a number of fabrics.

As far as dressing? Modest with arms and legs covered for women, especially in the religious places, like mosques.

Please do visit the Hotel Mamounia where Winston Churchill painted pictures of the snow-capped Atlas Mountain range which he could see from his rooms there. At the time of my visit, some of his paintings were displayed in the Mamounia.

Take pictures and have a splendid time there, Louisa, because it is one of the more unique cities which I have been to in my travels!
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#3 Louisa Chu

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 11:55 AM

Melissa - thank you so much for sharing your Marrakech experience. And yes, La Mamounia - some of the cooks there will be showing me the markets - and I'm hoping to spend some time in their kitchens. And absolutely I'll take lots of pictures! Thanks so much again.

#4 prasantrin

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 02:58 PM

Melissa - thank you so much for sharing your Marrakech experience. And yes, La Mamounia - some of the cooks there will be showing me the markets - and I'm hoping to spend some time in their kitchens. And absolutely I'll take lots of pictures! Thanks so much again.

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How many days is a few days? It sounds like you'll have contacts there. If that is the case, perhaps you could snag an invite to their homes...Moroccan restaurants do not hold a candle to home-cooking. They are worlds apart.

While not about food, you might also ask one to take you to a djelleba-maker. When my friend and I were there (albeit in Rabat) we had djelleba custom-made so we'd be able to wear them outside of Morocco (we had them done hip-length rather than full-length). Beautiful embroidery work at a very reasonable price.

#5 helou

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 09:12 AM

one word of advice: do not eat at jame' el fna if you can help it. it has become a serious tourist trap and the food is recycled day after day. try instead to go to the stylia restaurant, one of the best in marrakesh. the owner is called mr chami. tell him you belong to egullet and that i recommended you go there. he'll look after you. also the restaurant is quite magical, in an old property in the medina. try also to go to one or more of the weekly souks around marrakesh. i wrote about them for the FT a year or two years ago although i am not sure how you can access the piece. there they have cook stalls where you can take your ingredients for the cook to make you a tagine. enjoy. you'll have a great time.

I'm not going to believe it until I actually get there - and have that first bite of food in my mouth - but it looks like I'm going to Marrakech for a few days this fall. I'm so excited but I'm trying to suppress my expectations - this is one of the cities in the world that I've always wanted to visit for as far back as I can remember. This will be my first time there - my first time in the country and on the continent. There are some wonderful threads here about Moroccan food, cooking, and cookware but I was hoping to get some current information specifically about Marrakech. I have my list and some cooks will be showing me around but I would appreciate your sharing any recent personal experiences about food, travel, shopping, and customs in this city.

What should I eat and drink and where? What should I bring home, where will I find it - and I should pay no more than how much? How should I dress and conduct myself?

And yes, of course I look forward to eating at Djemaa el Fna - and I can only hope to feast on freshly roasted lamb's testicles.

Here are some of the links I'm consulting:

eGullet thread - Morocco

eGullet thread - Moroccan Tagine Cooking

Paula Wolfert

Ya Rayi Our Rai (chefzadi's multi-author blog)

Wikipedia - Marrakech

Moroccan National Office of Tourism

"Inside Marrakech" - (Saveur article by Dorothy Kalins, March 1998)

CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) - Morocco

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:biggrin:

#6 Louisa Chu

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:58 AM

prasantrin - I'll be there about a week. And yes, I have heard that about home-cooking being better than restaurant cooking. I would imagine though that it would depend on the restaurant and home. And yes, I'm very much looking forward to a little non-food shopping too - being Chinese I'm especially excited about slippers!

helou - thanks very much for the kind recommendation. For everyone - here's their website at Le Stylia. And yes, I understand the concerns about the square - but I do have friends who went recently and had some good food. And even if they didn't, you know I have to eat something there! Sadly I couldn't find your article in the FT archives - sounds fascinating! Thanks so much again.

#7 Adam Balic

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 11:09 AM

I was too sick to eat much in Marrakech and so therefore are completely useless, but there are all sorts of interesting plaes that you just kinda of find randomly in Morocco.

Some advice. If you speak French you will be very happy, if not you will have to make more of an effort. If you have somebody to show you around good, if not hire a guide. They invaluble in what they can show you.

Food is all over the place in terms of quality/interest. Two favourites were some offal kebabs in Fez and a dish of ultra thin potato scales that had been over-lapped and formed into a "crepe" which was then used to enclose duck confit that had been cooked with local spices.

Avoid the pizza.

#8 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 11:11 AM

And even if they didn't, you know I have to eat something there!

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Just be sure that what you eat is cooked through, if possible, and be aware that things like lettuces and raw fruits which are cut, may not be washed too well by your own health standards ... the water is the issue here ...

more Moroccan food advice
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#9 Louisa Chu

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 11:41 AM

Adam - I did read about your ill-fated visit to Marrakech in a previous thread - I was so sad for you! I do speak French and will have somebody to show me around but I am looking forward to exploring on my own too. Those offal kebabs sound especially good - I should be able to find them in Marrakech. And thanks - note to self - no pizza in Marrakech. :wink:

Melissa - yes - I have travelled around quite a bit - though I have to say the sickest I've ever been was from a bad meat pie in a London pub! And thanks for the link - I saw that site. It's beautiful and does have discussion forums - but that page only has three restaurant rec's in Marrakech - and one's French and another's Italian!

#10 Jon Tseng

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 05:17 AM

Slightly bizarrely Richard Neat, sometime Robuchon protege, holder of ** at Pied a Terre in London and latterly * in Cannes (the only Brit to do it in France) opened up a resto/hotel in Marrakech about a year and a half ago

http://www.casalalla.com/

Hardly authentic tagine but probably worth a look

ta

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#11 Louisa Chu

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 06:46 AM

Jon - thanks so much. The place looks absolutely beautiful. And I'm completely open to modern Moroccan food - I think you know I'm hardly a classic purist! I will definitely check it out. Thanks again.

#12 chefzadi

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 09:43 PM

Hi Louisa,

I know people in Morocco who would treat you well. But dropping names is not the best way to get traditional foods. Name dropping is a way to get tourist dishes.

You know, I hear North Africans are pretty funny folks with a deep sense of irony.
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#13 chefzadi

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 09:55 PM

And even if they didn't, you know I have to eat something there!

View Post

Just be sure that what you eat is cooked through, if possible, and be aware that things like lettuces and raw fruits which are cut, may not be washed too well by your own health standards ... the water is the issue here ...

more Moroccan food advice

View Post



Where is the water NOT an issue?

You really think that that the lettuces and fruits in Western restos are well washed? You're just used to the bacteria or whatever those little things are called.
I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

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#14 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 10:01 PM

Where is the water NOT an issue?
You really think that that the lettuces and fruits in Western restos are well washed? You're just used to the bacteria or whatever those little things are called.

View Post

Possibly, but I rarely used to drink the tap water abroad. Oddly, I did drink it in Budapest, Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg with no ill effects. When I lived in Morocco, see the first few posts, I was warned about drinking tap water. That stayed with me over time. Also in Mexico, same warning and drank only bottled water in Israel.
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#15 chefzadi

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 10:09 PM

Well, when I lived in Algeria i drank the tap and all sorts of water without gettiing sick. I drank the tap in London and had the shits for weeks on end.

get my drift? depends on what you're used to.

It seems to be what you are saying as well.
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#16 Adam Balic

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 04:03 AM

Well, when I lived in Algeria i drank the tap and all sorts of water without gettiing sick. I drank the tap in London and had the shits for weeks on end.

get my drift? depends on what you're used to.

It seems to be what you are saying as well.

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The water in London has been through seven other peoples kidneys, why would you want to drink that!

#17 Louisa Chu

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 05:05 AM

Farid - um, thanks? So we all know that name-dropping is boorish behaviour - how do you suggest getting good eats in Marrakech? And I'll let all the "North Africans" I know that they should be funnier and more deeply ironic. And for me, water is an issue when it comes to street food because there usually isn't any - and that goes for LA too. We're full of bacteria already - sometimes it's a matter of introducing different bacteria which upsets the system - sometimes it's harmful microorganisms. And if your food gets infected and you eat it, it doesn't matter if it's well cooked or not. But this does not stop me - nor my scientist friends - from eating "unsafe" food.

Melissa - the tap water is safe to drink in Marrakech - but I'm sure people will be foisting botteld water on me there too - same as here in Paris. :wink:

Adam - I see you're doing PR for London tourism too!

Edited by Louisa Chu, 25 September 2005 - 05:10 AM.


#18 zora

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 02:01 PM

I ate street snacks in Marrakech and was OK. Don't miss all the fresh orange juice--well, you can't miss it...There's a comical overabundance of OJ carts on the Djema. In general, I find eating tons of yogurt before and during a trip helps immensely in terms of GI stability.

Re: dress--don't hesitate to look glamorous, as Marrakech is getting absurdly stylish. It's polite to keep skin covered, though. And don't worry about the mosque issue, as last I knew, non-Muslims couldn't go in any mosques in Morocco, except for that gigundo modern one in Casablanca.
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#19 Wolfert

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 04:07 PM

Keep in mind that the first day of Ramadan is October 4 and it runs through to November 2nd. Most Moroccans take part in the fasting and it is very hard to find a decent place to eat during the day in any Muslim area.
Though you aren't expected to participate no one will be serving any great food during the day in the Djemaa el fna. And you should avoid eating in public during this period.

On the other hand, don't hesitate to eat the Harira soup, dates and shebbakia (fried cakes) in the street as soon as the fast breaks each evening.

Don't fret about no place to eat: The European quarter is about 5 minutes away by car and there you will find plenty of great restaurants open to the those who aren't fasting.

According to friends who still live in Marrakech, the 'hot' restaurant is dar moha. I recently received the chef's cookbook and the food looks good.

More later...

Water:? When I lived in Morocco the water in Marrakech was suspect. This was
between 1959 and 1976 .I am sure it is OK now that the city is a great tourist destination. Best to check at the concierge at your hotel.

Edited by Wolfert, 03 October 2005 - 04:11 PM.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

#20 Druckenbrodt

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 06:02 PM

I went to Morocco a few years ago on a walking holiday in the Jebel Sahro in November, and ever since have been yearning to go again. I think you will have an absolutely wonderful time, especially if you have local contacts.

Wolfert made an important point about Ramadan. In the past I've had to organise a press trip to Kuwait during Ramadan and it's not something I'll be doing again in a hurry - those who take Ramadan seriously get very tetchy with all that food and sleep deprivation! You're not even supposed to smoke! (which is the only way I would cope with fasting...) My client was a devout Muslim who insisted on the press trip taking place then, but then insisted he couldn't do any interviews during the day because he was too tired, so I had a crew of very p...off high maintenance fashion journalists - already tetchy about the fact that alchohol is illegal in Kuwait, even in hotels - stressed about not getting their stories. Having said that, Marrakech seemed much more relaxed and tolerant of tourists during Ramadan than other Muslim countries I've been to at that time.

I also had the great honour of being invited to join in breaking the fast with a Moroccan family. Unfortunately I couldn't because I was already running late to meet friends (ah, the price of loyalty!), but it looked like an incredible feast and I imagine it would have been a wonderful experience. So if you're invited to break the fast with a family while you're there you really should! I get the impression it's a bit like Christmas every evening!

I only spent a day and half in Marrakesh but I was amazed by how incredibly friendly, honest and gentle people were. Everyone warned me in advance that I would get terribly hassled for being female but that was never my experience. (Of course I got the standard 'why don't you buy my straw camel toy that you can't possibly need' hassle, but that's OK.) I would say Paris is infinitely worse for unwanted attention from men...

The pastries and sweetmeats in Marrakesh are absolutely sublime. There was a wonderful shop in the Medina that sold endless different little things all in abundant piles. I think you bought them by the kilo and could have a random selection or choose what you wanted. There's not much point in trying to describe where it was... I brought a couple of boxes back - gave one away and scoffed the rest!

Also, many moons ago I was involved in PRing a Moroccan food promotion that was organised in conjunction with the Moroccan embassy and tourist board. The Moroccan consultant told me that the very best cooking in Morocco is a housewife's art. If you have a chance to spend a day going to the market with a local matriarch, and then preparing a feast with her, you'd probably have an amazing time.

The other thing I was told was that housewives never make their own cakes or sweetmeats - they always buy them from their favourite bakers/patisseries.

One more thing I remember about the Moroccan event - there was an incredible chef who came over whose name I have completely forgotten, but she is famous in Morocco. I believe she is responsible for the royal household's meals, and she also runs a cookery school which was set up by the King to preserve and protect the country's culinary heritage. I believe the chefs are women only, and Touareg. Apolgies to sound so vague about this but it was a long time ago and I'm sure I've got lots of it wrong. Maybe someone else on this thread knows much more about it.

You should also try the dates. I had some incredible ones that tasted like fudge, but better.

Finally, when we were out walking in the 'wilderness' for the most part of the two weeks I was there, the Berbers who were our guides baked the most delicious flat bread every night, which was sort of dry 'fried' on a large earthenware 'plate' over an open fire. I still dream about that.

Sorry to ramble on, this thread got me reminiscing about favourite food moments...

#21 Louisa Chu

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 07:52 AM

I'm just back from Marrakech. I ate sheep's head in the square, drank tap water, I'm totally fine.

zora - yes, the orange juice carts ringing the square. I found most of the fresh fruit almost painfully sweet - not a problem I'm used to having - but one I'd gladly endure. Didn't need it, but had some delicious housemade yogurt from one of the dairy shops in the souks. Regarding dress - I did not go glam - and I'd say Marrakech is stylish in its own way. For women I saw everything from shorts and tank tops to fully covered - with no obvious clashes at all.

Mrs. Wolfert - thanks so much. Yes, harira - with alternating bites of dates and sweet cakes - and one time with just the local bread slathered with honey - was one of my favourite dishes. And thanks - here's the link to Dar Moha's site - will go next time.

Druckenbrodt - a walking trip sounds amazing. What kind of friends tear you away from a feast with the Moroccan royal family?? :wink: And again, I think it really depends on the home and the restaurant when it comes to the food. For example, all of the line cooks in the traditional Moroccan restaurant at La Mamounia are women and they made very fine food. And the chef you're talking about must be the infamous "Mademoiselle el Hamiani" of Le Centre de Qualification Hotelière et Touristique de Touarga-Rabat - here's the link to a Waitrose Food Illustrated article about the school by Sarah Woodward. And yes, I did visit one of the communal ovens during baking hours.

I will post more soon. Thank you all so much for your help. I already can't wait to go back.

#22 Druckenbrodt

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 08:16 AM

Yes it was the Rabat school. I think the lady I met was Madame Bensdira. Not 100% sure on that though.

The walking trip was truly amazing - everyone should do it at some point in their life. The friends were from the walking trip (it's a fairly intense bonding experience sharing tents, getting up 6am every day, and gradually getting increasinly smelly & grubby together for lack of running water in which to wash...) The family who invited me to break the fast however were not royal (!) but Marrakesh society types who had restored and converted a Kasbah outside the city into an exquisite hotel using local craftsmen & traditional textiles etc. A friend of mine was working for them helping to run it and PR it and had become 'part of the family'. I always regret not joining in that meal!...

Looking forward to reading about your trip on your blog!

#23 anil

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 05:53 PM

. For example, all of the line cooks in the traditional Moroccan restaurant at La Mamounia are women and they made very fine food. And the chef you're talking about must be the infamous "Mademoiselle el Hamiani" of Le Centre de Qualification Hotelière et Touristique de Touarga-Rabat


Louisa: Thanks for bringing this insight. It clarifies a lot about the restaurant and many other similar places in Morroco - much appreciated.
anil

#24 AngloCelt

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 08:42 AM

Hello

This is my first posting on the site, and unfortunately it has to be brief, but I've just returned from a week in Marrakesh and thought I'd mention a couple of places discussed in this thread.

Firstly, Dar Moha. We left it to our last night to visit as we hadn't had a decent tagine since our arrival. It was tremendously disappointing. It's obviously living off its reputation and despite the pleasant setting around the pool, (not so nice if you're inside) you get the feeling you're part of a not-so-well-oiled production line. The waiters, whilst pleasant, were rushing around like headless chickens. We waited for 10 minutes before being given menus, then another 10minutes before anyone to take our order. The second the waiter had taken our order and disappeared, another appeared to take our order again! Wine bottles, instead of being left on diners tables, were left on a communal table. I noticed our bottle being poured into the glasses of diners on another table! When I eventually managed to stop our waiter (he seemed to be having a hearing problem(!)) he initially disagreed over what had happened but eventually arrived with a new (although opened) bottle.

In terms of the food, it actually doesn't merit a course by course description. But it was all pretty average. Not terrible, but lacking in flavour. It is a set menu but with a small choice for each course (save the starters which were probably the best part of the meal). This setup seems to allow the kitchen to pre-prepare everything. I had images of waiters dashing into the kitchen and choosing from the chicken, beef or fish conveyor belt.

Two places we really enjoyed were:
Casa Lalla:
We managed to get a cancellation and were treated to wonderful hospitality by Richard and Sophie Neat. The Interior of the Riad is beautiful, as was the food. If anyone is interested, post a reply and I'll go into more detail but essentially it was a six course tasting menu on a Morrocan theme but with French influences. (Casa Lalla does not sell alcohol but you can bring your own and no corkage is charged).

Riad El Fenn:
Owned by Richard Branson's sister, this is an enormous Riad, apparently covering half a block! We ate on the terrace with magnificent views over Marrakesh. Another tasting menu, wonderful service and excellent food. Again, apologies for the lack of descriptions but should anyone want I'm happy to provide more detail.

#25 Louisa Chu

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 07:19 AM

Druckenbrodt - really good friends understand when one must partake in a rare feast. ;)

anil - my thanks goes to the chefs and cooks at La Mamounia who let me in their kitchens.

AngloCelt - tragic - how could you not have had a decent tagine in an entire week in the land of great tagines? And yes, please, I'd love to hear more about your dinners at Casa Lalla and Riad El Fenn - Richard Branson's sister's place. I made it up to his new place for lunch - the Kasbah Tamadot - absolutely stunning - food, setting, views - nestled in the Atlas mountains. This is where I had the most vibrant harira served with thick slices of bread slathered with honey and luscious dates - on a sun-drenched terrace overlooking an ancient Berber village. Before he opened the retreat, Branson offered free English lessons to the neighboring villagers so he could hire locally.

#26 The Blissful Glutton

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 06:49 AM

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The Moroccan people are quite possibly the most hospitable and accommodating people I have met on any of my trips and the food, oh the food.

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After arriving early in the morning, we visited a Hammam to have treatments—a recommended activity as it really helped me loosen up after the long flight. When I say this was the best spa experience ever (and, I consider myself a bit of a junkie), believe me. After sipping on some strong fresh peppermint tea (the first of many glasses), my sister and I were led into a steamy blue tiled room with fountains overflowing with pink rose petals. After relaxing on some towels for a few minutes, two women entered and washed us with black soap (Savon noir) before scrubbing the heck out of us with these little mitts. After the scrub we were covered in a special mud and left to dry. The treatment finished with a good wash in some Argan oil-laced hot water and a relaxing massage with rose oil. It was absolute heaven and we came out with glowing skin smelling like rose petals.

After the Hammam, we jumped in taxi to go check out a spot in the Medina recommended a local. He referred to it as a “meat boutique” and informed me there are many of these around Morocco. Any mention of lamb and grilling to my father and we are there. The way it works is you choose your meat and then they go grill it over charcoal. There is a small glass case filled with freshly butchered cuts, but we just chose the mix of merguez sausage (my favorite sausage in the world), ground lamb patties and lamb chops. While the meat is being cooked, the waiter arrives with bowls of freshly ground cumin, crunchy salt, an assortment of local olives, some small tomato salads and loaves of slightly sweet bread.
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When the main comes, you grab the meat with the bread—your utensil—although I saw many people using their fingers, which were subsequently covered in hot lamb fat. This is a meal that definitely brings the out your inner carnivore, because I abandoned the bread halfway through.

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To ensure we did not fall into a meat coma, we headed to the Djemaa el Fna, a market around the corner. This market is know for being a foodie's paradise after dark and Bourdain hit it on his TV show, but we had other plans every night. Instead, we walked around the maze of vendor-lined alleys after buying a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice at one of the stands in the main square. The juices in Morocco are insane and we actually had a couple of orange trees outside our bedroom window.
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Upon returning to the hotel with my tagine in hand (if you do go and want to buy one, make sure you don't get talked into one that is for decor only. Look for unadorned ones with a heavy feel), we plopped down on the couches in the bar for some afternoon tea and sweets.
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That night we went for a diffa, or a multi-course feast, at Le Tobsil. After arriving to the area where the restaurant is located, a representative greets you and leads your party down a long abandoned alley. My family and I nervously smiled at each other, but I know they were all thinking, "what the hell has Jennifer gotten us into this time?" All of sudden, we reached a large wooden door and it creaked opened. A smiling woman peered out and greeted us as she opened the door to a gorgeous old house decorated in warm yellows and reds.
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A pair of musicians played in the corner and rose petals were strewn everywhere. I had done good. You don't place an order at this type of restaurant, so we just sat down a sipped on our fresh fruit juice spiked with a little vodka.

After a bit, our waiter brought us a large assortment of salads and bread.
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The next day was our day with a guide when we went to see the city's many sites. On our way to one of the locations, I spied an open door to the fires beneath a Hammam. Locals bring their tagines to such places and leave them to cook all day before picking them up. See the cluster of them in the corner? The smell of cooking meat and fire was unreal.
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For lunch, we headed to Al Fassia, a place I'd found in my guide book (Time Out puts out such great travel books). The restaurant is run by sisters and an all woman staff. They source their ingredients from small producers rather than large distributors and the flavor was definitely there. Such a quaint little place and excellent service.
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On our way home from seeing all the sites (which you can view HERE) , we saw this little patisserie and had to stop inside and grab a few treats for later.
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We had a great trip and it was nice to finally see Morocco after wanting to all these years. Just beautiful, but four days was more than enough because it is an intense place (even for me). We hit La Rioja next. Stay tuned for that post.

#27 gfron1

gfron1
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Posted 28 May 2008 - 08:24 AM

Gorgeous pictures and a wonderful report! Thank you for sharing it. Marrakech has long been on my short list for travels and you've re-whet my appetite.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#28 docsconz

docsconz
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Posted 28 May 2008 - 09:21 AM

Outstanding! Can you please tell us more about some of the dishes that you ate?

I'm looking forward to your Rioja experience.
John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."
- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

#29 The Blissful Glutton

The Blissful Glutton
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Posted 29 May 2008 - 04:29 AM

Outstanding! Can you please tell us more about some of the dishes that you ate?

I'm looking forward to your Rioja experience.

View Post

Will do. I am on deadline until tomorrow, but will add more descriptions this wknd.

Jenniifer

#30 aprilmei

aprilmei
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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:48 AM

This looks wonderful - I'm getting hungry just looking at these pictures. Can you please also give some addresses?