Thursday, July 23, 2015

Food and Feasts

I’ll say this upfront: living in Marrakesh, whether during Ramadan* or not, can be difficult. Whilst I cannot vouch for its conditions during winter (which I hear can be extremely cold), I can definitely say that if you are not used to the ridiculous high temperatures that it has during summer, you might want to cancel your plans of touring the city during the day to simply stay home or seek shelter at an air-conditioned cafe to beat the heat.

However, the food and hospitality of the local people makes up for the ungodly heat. Seriously though, whether it be the panini and pizzas of your neighborhood cafe, or the tajine and mint tea from your Moroccan friends during Eid dinner, I have yet to be disappointed by the taste of the food that has colored my palette. 

I have been introduced to several cafés and restaurants around Marrakesh, and while the majority of these places (usually the smaller restaurants) serve the same menus (like, IDENTICAL): paninis, pizzas, chawarmas, tajines and omelettes, none of them compares with the very first place  I visited: Ibi-Laz, just five minutes away from my host family’s house In Boulevard Prince Moulay Abdellah, it offers reasonable prices with generous portions (for only 20 MAD** I can get a beef panini the size of “too big to finish”). Just note that even though a lot of restaurants serve the same menu, their prices may not be the same. For example, the price for a pan of pizza can be 30 MAD at one place, and up to 50 MAD in another place serving the same sized pizza with the same topping.

Good news is you can spare the confusion of reading french menus or deciding which pizza to get when you are friends with the local people here. From my experience, the locals here are very welcoming and are eager to host us (well at least the AIESECers are). I myself have been lucky enough to experience the various kinds of dishes that are usually served as everyday dinners. And when I say various, I literally mean that there are various of foods at each dinner it’s practically a feast. And you would think that this “feast” was made special for hosting us, but think again, this is their normal dinner. Talk about food heaven.

Another thing I love about the traditions here (food-wise, I mean) is the fact that it is uncommon for us to serve dinner outside - in this case, on the rooftop. I don't think there's anything better (again, food-wise) than having a delicious feast with friends under the stars, especially knowing that the weather at night is much kinder to us than the day. This tradition is definitely one that I will try to apply back in Indonesia - even through the lack of a rooftop yard may be a problem.

xo and smiles,


*to my Indonesian friends, bersyukurlah kalian yang puasa di Indonesia, karena sepanas-panasnya kampungmu, Maroko tetep lebih parah! xx
** 1 MAD (Moroccan Dirham) is equal to around Rp 1300

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