I’ve been trying to publish this since Monday, but the internet wasn’t kind to me in Morocco so you’ll have to excuse the tardiness (and lack of posting — AGAIN).
I just got back from Morocco in the wee hours of the morning and I have so much to share with you! Flights on Royal Air Maroc, farm tours outside of Marrakech, dining in the home of olive oil barons in Meknes, tagines upon tagines upon tagines, JetBlue’s new Mint first class product. The list goes on and on. To start, though, I want to take you on a photo tour of my first day in Morocco.
One thing that stands out almost everywhere you go in Morocco is the tile work. Colorful geographic patterns can be seen almost everywhere you go, including this creation in Marrakech:
Another ubiquitous sight in Morocco: tagines. They’re the multi-hued cylindrical containers below and can be found as both decorative containers and as actual cooking vessels, using the cone shape to retain massive heat and pressure cook whatever you choose to make inside. These were merely for presentation:
Underneath those lids is a whole army of delicious salads. Moroccans are big on salads. We’re not talking Caesars and Cobbs here. You can expect stewed eggplant and sweet cucumbers and roasted beets and all sorts of other wonderful little presentations of vegetables. It’s a fresh, healthy way to start the meal and serves a practical purpose for Moroccans: with meat at such a premium, the veggies fill you up first so you’re already full by the time the lamb gets to the table.
Tagine is both the name of the vessel as well as the name of the dish itself. Basically, it means food cooked in a clay pot although nowadays modern Moroccans are just as likely to use a pressure cooker. This is a great example of a vegetable tagine from lunch on the first day of my trip with carrots, squash, tomatoes, and potatoes. The flavors all meld together and served as a wonderful partner to the platter of lamb chops that also made its way to the table.
The old section of every city in Morocco is called the Medina and comes surrounded by thick walls to keep out intruders. Inside the medina, you’ll find souks (shops), mosques, and palais (palaces) brimming with echoes of the past. In Marrakech, we toured the Bahia Palace where every step you take treads over centuries of Moroccan history. Intricate cornices, detailed painting, and more exquisite tile work can all be found in this amazing palace.
When day turns to night, the souks come alive with hordes of people streaming through on foot and motorbike. Here’s a shot of the square where snake charmers, fortune tellers, and belly dancers all try to secure your dirhams while food stall vendors attempt to woo you in for a meal.
Time to say goodnight to my first night in Morocco. Don’t worry, though. There are many more days of photos to come…
(Thanks to Pompeian Olive Oil for taking me to Morocco to see all of these wonderful things.)