|The Koutoubia Mosque, a masterpiece of Hispano/Moorish art
Et oui, this time I left France to go to Morocco, with one of my best friends, who lives in Argentina…My friend E. and I have been together ever since we were six years old! Not only did we go to primary and secondary school together, but we sat together!, we shared after-school games, vacations…. One day, without realizing, we got married..not together ;D but we kept on seeing each other, sharing our lives, families….going through tough times..life has been particularly tough for my friend…we cried together, we were scared to death together..and still, here we are..friends for life!
I decided that, for a change, we could visit Marrakech together, and we loved it!
One of the first things tourists do when arriving in the Red City is to go to Jemaa el Fna Square: geographical, cultural, and social center of the Medina. In the past, the trading center between North and South Morocco..nowadays a show on its own: you will find merchants of all sorts, snake charmers, tooth pullers, musicians, fire-eaters...My favorite stands in the “souk” (market) are those devoted to antiques, and dried fruits: apricots, bananas, prunes and dates, of the best quality you will ever find!
After the bustle of winding alleys in the souk, it was time for tea…mint tea: the national beverage, AND some Moroccan pastries!
Moroccan pastries are typically stuffed with almond paste, dusted with icing sugar or honey. They are VERY sweet, I love them though!
|Renowned for its good weather, our first day in Marrakech was unusually stormy!
Just losing your way in the streets of Marrakech is an amazing experience: you will find incredible wooden doors, arcades…and spices! Disneyland for me!
You can find all the spices possible there, plus specific ones for different tagines, ras el hanout, lavender, star anise, plus herbs to make infusions to heal all conditions: saffran flowers for insomnia, rose from Damas..against constipation AND wrinkles.. hibiscus, for relaxation! Plus, argan oil! to be used not only for cooking (salads, cous-cous) but also renowned for its cosmetic properties against skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and in hair treatments…After this store, we decided to go for art, and there nothing better than the Bahia Palace!
How can I describe this jewel made by Moroccan artists and artisans? Marble paved courtyards, stucco panels, arches, enameled terracota tiles, zellij decorations, carved-cedar for the painted ceilings…
Art, history, food, shopping….and after so much walk, a bit of “dolce far niente” in the hotel, feet in the air…
Once home, thinking about my blog and my dear readers, I thought of reproducing one of the most typical dishes of Moroccan cuisine: this kefta tagine, a classic in my family..my kids a-dore-it!! but to be honest, we always eat it at a Moroccan restaurant here in Paris, so looking for a recipe, I remembered I had seen it in Cherine’s blog: Chicho’s Kitchen, a charming Lebanese young lady, living in Paris, who will take you to far-away lands with her amazing cuisine…
You can find her recipe and beautiful photos here. I hope you try this at home, with some cous-cous!