A FINAL DAY EXPERIENCING LOCAL CULTURE THROUGH FOOD
08.04.2017 - 20.04.2017 26 °C
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday the heat was unbearable but today the 6 day heat wave ended and it is a cool 26 degrees. Honestly, it doesn’t even feel hot but there is also a haze over the city so the sun isn’t beating down either. Essaouira is actually known as the windy city and is a getaway for surfers. This calm, hot weather is unheard of in April and more typical for August.
I decided to take a break from photography on my final day in Morocco and do something else I enjoy, cooking. Food is such a big part of travel and learning more about the preparations and the traditions is always a great activity. I spent the better part of my day at L’Atelier Madada and it did not disappoint. Out instructors were Allison, who has been married to a Moroccan and been living here for 14 years and Mouna, who is Moroccan and has been cooking for years. Her mother has actually cooked for dignitaries in Marrakech so her attention to detail is impeccable and our work was carefully checked and often rejected. I have never spent 15 minutes cutting up one onion before today. We spend about two hours preparing and cooking our traditional Harira, a very common but complicated soup and our lamb tagine. A
fter everything was put together and left to cook ( a tagine takes 1.5 -2 hours) we went for a tour of the spice market, and a few explanations by Mohammed who is a spice expert and who also does herbal medicine.
He even has the traditional dyes like the indigo and kohl, used on eyes. It was pretty interesting.
After we returned our food was ready and we enjoyed a wonderful meal together. We had a great team, a dentist from the UK who came to surf and was left with no wind, a 29-year vascular surgeon from Germany (now working in Switzerland) and a lovely couple from France who were celebrating their 30th anniversary. Great company. By the time we were done it was almost 4pm.
The class was enough to convince me to buy a tagine. Hopefully it will make it home ok. I also stopped to buy a suitcase and went for a final stroll around town. I figured I should at least walk by the beach.
And grab a snap of the cart guys. These men carry luggage into the medina and to the riads because the alleys are too narrow for cars.
I also went to say goodbye to Rachid, the carpet salesman with a sister in Ottawa ( who I must call) and drool over the carpets one more time. I love this one but it is not in the cards. Next time, inshallah.
Another very popular product…..herbal Viagra.
And Argan oil. This is another popular sell. Not just for hair and skin but made with the toasted nut to pour over cooking.
Morocco is heavily influence by the Spanish occupation, the French occupation, the once large jewish community. Pastry shops are common here but not that appealing.
Another wonderful holiday has come to an end. I have to say, this has been particularly special. I have loved every single day both behind and without my camera.
I will definitely return to see the northern part of this country, inshallah (said after every hope, meaning god willing).