We really love to understand every country we visit, so we always stay for a few days with a family or at someone’s place – who has been advised by our local logistic organizer.
The other days we stay in riads mostly, but sometimes we also stayed for the night in a kasbah (qasba), a small town inside the walls, like a fortress ( they are centuries old ) and once we even stayed at an ecological lodge, as you probably read in a previous post here..
By staying with families, or at local women’s cooperatives, we also have the opportunity, rare for tourists, to eat the real moroccan cuisine, not the usual mixed culture stuff that you often get in the restaurants, specially in big towns.
The moment when you sit at a table, or on a cushion in the floor, with people, you get closer to them, and you can really feel at home.
Eating together is an atavistic sign of acceptance, in all cultures. We are blessed with that experience in several countries. By eating together and staying at people’s houses we can model their behavior at meal time, improving the communication and decreasing the “cultural distance”. We can expand our world that way.
“Anthropologists have long considered ways in which food preparation, distribution, and consumption authenticate both social order and moral and aesthetic beliefs and values.” wrote Elinor Ochs.
As for food, we have eaten all sorts of different tajines and all sorts of ingredients, being vegetables part of every single meal, while we rarely saw cheese anywhere. We also had shell fish and other kinds of fish, and Susan had several kinds of meat, except porc, due the fact that it is an islamic country. Sometimes we bought the food ourselves and took it somewhere to be cooked, in very small villages or in some rather poor-dark-low profile “restaurant” advised by our guide. In the next photo you can see shell fish we bought in the port of Essaouira directly from the fishermen, and got it cooked in one of those “dark” places. Salt and cumin in the table, not salt in pepper. The tablecloth made of rectangles of paper. A fork here and there, as we are supposed to eat with our hands 🙂
The homemade bread at Ayoub’s house is just amazing, and we ate lots of it for breakfast, with honey, argan oil, olive oil, homemade butter and jam. Breakfast was always a moment of relax and preparation for the new day, no hurry, even if it meant getting up half an hour earlier. Forgive me for the quality of the photos, sometimes there was not enough light for the phone’s camera.