Monday, May 4, 2009

off the high board

I just got back from a weekend in Morocco (mixed feelings there: a) how amazing is it to be able to go to Morocco for the weekend?? b) only a weekend? really?) and I am absolutely dying to go back. Spain isn't exactly known for it's cuisine (though it has it's specialties), so I was in heaven in Morocco. We arrived really late on Thursday to our riad and were welcomed with a "half dinner," which in reality was an incredible authentic feast with Moroccan fava bean salad, bread, tajine, and for desert fresh orange slices covered in cinnamon.
But the very best was a dinner at a restaraunt just by the Blue Gate, called La Kasbah, which had various terraces that overlooked the entrance to the medina. There, for next to nothing, I was served a delicious Moroccan soup (kind of like gazpacho, only hot and with different spices) and the most amazing chicken tajine I have ever tasted, with plumbs, almonds, caramelized onions, cinnamon, and I don't know what else (but I'm determined to figure it out and reproduce it somehow). Followed of course by sweet mint tea, pastries, and, once again, the fresh oranges and cinnamon. Now, back in Spain, I am dreaming of those meals...The trip (well, not so much the trip as the journey to and from) was a long one, but by no means lacking in poetry and scenery. On the six hour train ride between Tangier and Fes, we passed groups of men by the side of the road, sitting in the shade below trees, selling beautiful oranges from crates. A blue van passed once that was completely filled almost to the roof with oranges. We passed enormous trucks carrying loads of bamboo, followed closely by groups of boys running behind to pull sticks out to play with. There was a couple standing by their broken motorbike on the side of the road, the woman covered completely, except for her eyes. The countryside was also striking, covered in fields with cattle, goats, sheep...

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