Wednesday, 10 July 2013

#Challenge2013 - June, a Moroccan adventure

I have been rather fortunate in my the travelling I have done this year and June merely added to it.  My foodie highlights from the West Country can be found in 'Something for the Weekend' posts from 14th June (Sherborne) and 21st June (Beer to Buscombe).  However, I wanted to reserve this post for one of the most fabulous mini-breaks I am ever likely to go on; my trip to Marrakech.




Marrakech is a stunningly beautiful, slightly mad, culturally fascinating foodie haven.  Now, geography and navigation never has been my strong point but the maze of small, narrow roads in Marrakech really would have been impossible to maneuver even with a bit more nouse.  However, as with all adventures, such getting lost really did make for a fantastic, eye-opening experience.  We managed to find a fantastic, barely touched cafe where this divine meal of lamb and cous-cous came in at under £5.  It was filling, healthy and just right for the climate.

What I loved about this was how flavoursome yet simple everything was.  The meat was just perfect, the cous cous was fluffy and the tomato, divine.  One of the most fantastic things about this meal was actually the freshly ground cinnamon on the cous cous.  This may sound silly but it was a combination I had never thought of before.  This became somewhat a theme of the food we sampled.  Even over breakfast, the spices (cinnamon, paprika, cumin mainly) which were out to be sprinkled on foods which I simply would have never thought of putting them with were a spectacular inspiration.  Sadly, I cannot even tell you where this is located, so if you are off to Marrakech, I wish you luck finding it.

The variety of dried fruit and spices readily available took me aback somewhat.  Whenever I have tried my hand at Moroccan cooking at home dried apricots and prunes have been essential, but carts like this simply littered the market squares:


And then there was the final meal we had.  The owner of the restaurant lured us in with a promise of "no diarrhea for two years and counting..." something he was very proud of.  After a full on hotel lunch (including a pistachio brulee, which I am so annoyed I did not get a photo of as simply, it was a taste of heaven) we opted for the simple choice; seasoned chicken skewers, flat bread and some mixed seafood.  Once again, our socks were knocked off.  I actually cannot fault the food in Marrakech at all.  It was a splendid range of well seasoned, well cooked, healthy and varied food.

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