[And as I write at about 8.30 p.m., I’m in my hotel room, with the telly showing some football. And the last call to prayer of the day interrupts the broadcast. “Allah akhbar” streams into my room, urgently calling the faithful to worship the one true god.]
Women do not stroll alone, except for the occasional tourist who is obvious by hair, make-up, clothing, and gait. (So am I, by the way, except for the haircut part.) Women stroll in groups of two or more, but mainly two. Likewise, men are generally in groups of two or more, but mostly two. So seeing this young man seated by himself, solo, was an unusual experience.
My guide tells me that only tourists eat alone, that no one in Morocco eats alone in public. Meals are communal, and powerfully so. I’ve witnessed the same.
What’s wrong with these palm trees? Perfection? They are cellular towers!
In the old walled city (the medina), every small neighborhood has its own community oven.
After watching Rick Steves take a tour of Tangier, I asked my guide to be certain to show me the bakery as well.
While I was there, a half dozen men and one woman came into leave items to be baked, or to collect goods that had been baked:
bread, of course
roasted almonds and peanuts
a fish dish (the photo of which was too blurry)
biscuits (AKA cookies)
The old baker-man has all his tools right there beside him: the wooden paddle with the extra-long handle, used to move bread directly onto the oven’s brick floor; salt water, to douse the nuts after they’ve been roasted; a spike to pierce the bread so it rises correctly; trays for roasting nuts.
Payment is in coin; he tosses them into a little drawer to his right.
High above him, on the opposite wall, is a single window. And he stands dep in a purpose-made dugout, a single 18” step helping him climb in or out, and with easy access to the oven’s portal.
Vegetable soup, the most perfect and amazing I’ve ever tasted.
Bread. Olives. Harrisa.
Chicken pie, which means minced chicken and spices bound with egg and almond flour, in puff pastry, dusted with sugar and cinnamon.
Chicken and couscous, the most delicious couscous I’ve ever in my life tasted.
And a beef tagine with egg, olive oil, tomato, and spices (and sadly no photo).
Then biscuits for dessert. Date, coconut, sesame, peanut, and almond. Unbelievably good.
All for a set price of €20 per person. I’m in foodie heaven.