In retrospect, I notice that some of the recent posts seem a bit harsh in places. That was the being sick talking. I certainly didn’t mean to seem so hard on the ladyfolks. Anyway, back in the US, I’d heard great things about Moroccan food. So here’s a survey of my daily eating habits:
-Moroccan food itself seems to rely on pressure cooking. Tagines, made in a conical ceramic pot, are pretty much slow-cooked stews with meat and vegetables that are really tender. The meat ones are great, but the fish ones contain bones that were at first surprising. Iftar is the meal for breaking the fast during Ramadan; I’ve been to one traditional style Iftar, where I had chunky beet juice, a hard-boiled egg, potatoe-and-onion latkes, and a bowl of harira, a sort of tomatoe noodle soup. Also, there was moroccan desert which I think is honey wrapped in dough, the fried in honey, and served with lots of honey. The entire meal set me back 18 dirham, which is a little more than $2.
-Couscous is amazing over here. Nothing like what we have in the US. I saw them making it here: they had a giant stewpot full of vegetables and meat, over which they put a steamer basket full of uncooked couscous. When the couscous is steamed, they mix it all together, and it’s fantastic.
-Mint tea is good, but it’s not considered made correctly unless it has 13 pounds of sugar in it. I’m not really into sweet stuff, so I can’t have it more than once a week.
-Fresh vegetables and seafood can be got at the local outdoor market. I am trying to learn to cook vegetables, but the secrets of making them tasty continue to elude me. I did, however, get a pound of raw shrimp for $3, which took an hour to peel and vein. They are tasty fried with eggs or spaghetti. I have yet to work up the courage to buy fresh, raw, whole (eyes and all!) fish, squid, or stingray, but who knows. Some day.
-Pizza is the big snack food here. It’s treated like hamburgers in the US: you can buy it on every corner.
-In terms of stuff from America, yes, you can get coke here. I swear, it stays fizzier longer than it does in the US. Potato chips are in the British ‘crisps’ style, that is, crunchy to the point of being hard. I can kiss a few fillings goodbye before I leave. You can get 7-Up here, but it tastes terrible.
- We’ve been to two different hotel bars here. They serve only three beers: Casablanca Lager, which tastes just like Yeungling except with the added benefit of an hour of diahrrea the next day for every one you drink; Flag Especial, which tastes like someone added copper to Pabst Blue Ribbon; and Heineken, which is used in the United States primarily for watering houseplants. I hear that Marjan, the Moroccan Walmart, has lots and lots of variety of beer, but that section is closed during the holy month of Ramadan. Still, Especial will get the job done. You can get liquor here with some ease, at least as a foreigner, but I’m not really so hot on liquor, so I can’t comment much on it.