As you know, the Supermarket Chronicles showcase the restaurant or grocery store treasures of our travels, ranging from the unappetizing to the bizarre. I jot down a brief description, throw in a picture or two, you read it in horror, and I sit back and laugh like Bram Stoker’s Renfield. It’s really a great relationship. This episode of the chronicles, however, is going to take a 180° turn, perhaps just this once.
That’s because we just returned from Marrakech, Morocco, and my perspective on dining has done a 180° turn.
I don’t cook much, even less now that we’re living abroad, but I was raised to be at the least food savvy, so you can imagine my shame when I knew next to nothing about Moroccan cuisine. Most meals are centered around the tagine, a large terracotta dish with a cone-shaped lid that originates from the indigenous Berber people of Morocco. You load the dish with meat, veggies and spices, put it under a low heat, replace the cover, and let the whole thing stew. The lid traps the evaporating water so precious to desert dwellers, while the terracotta gives a slight earthiness to the dish. Like a slow cooker, the process makes the vegetables tender, the meat pull apart with a fork and the flavors blend for unbelievable results.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Breakfast was a refreshing assortment of traditional Moroccan breads, yogurt, fresh fruit and cheeses. We were so impressed by our “hotel’s” restaurant (not really a hotel- I’ll explain in the next post), we never felt the need to venture out for dinner. Each evening we put the kids to bed and relaxed for a delicious three course meal; those meals that, despite being full, you keep eating anyway because the taste is irresistible. As a former French colony, France’s expertise in the kitchen combines with Moroccan exotic and fresh ingredients, resulting in sheer brilliance. There was only one set menu per night, often a dish that I would never have chosen regularly, but each evening was more fantastic than the last. Let me show you some examples:
Stay tuned, faithful readers, because there’s a post coming soon about our Moroccan adventures. It’s just emotionally difficult to type now that I’m home scrounging my kids’ uneaten chicken nuggets and trying to exercise off the five pounds I gained on vacation while dreaming of my next tagine.