One of the best things about Europe is being able to fly to another continent in 2 1/2 hours for only $80 per/person. Our dear friend Kamal, who is from Morocco (in North Africa) but lives in Hawaii was visiting his home country and invited us to stay with them for 2 weeks. We were thrilled and excited at this opportunity, especially since the tickets were very cheap and more importantly we’ll get to visit the famous Jemaa El Fnaa, Marrakech’s famous night market. And so off we went…
Upon arrival, in typical Moroccan culture we were picked up and whisked away to the family home. Awaiting us was Kamal’s mother who gracefully offered us dates with orange blossom milk. Both kids love the milk and dates.
We were then escorted into the “majlis” (the arabic word for sitting area) which was so beautiful and comfortable. The kids quickly made themselves at home. As we sat and got acquainted to the family and our surroundings we were invited into the dining room were we saw the most incredible salad/appetizer layout we’ve ever seen! Lou Lou said, “Is that all for us?” Uncle Kamal, quickly responded, “Yes, darling its all for you.”
It is very difficult to explain exactly what appetizers were on the table. There was a variety of different salads, olives, aubergines and beans. They were all so light and refreshing and got our tastebuds well on their way to a fantastic experience. Both Lou Lou and Jaf tried everything, sticking mainly to the carrots, cucumbers, beets and cauliflower for some reason, I believe its because it was something they recognized. But we were sure after 2 weeks here, they’d be willing to get more adventureous with Moroccan appetizers.
Next up was the main dish. This beautiful roasted chicken dish served with Moroccan breads. The juices from the chicken were divine and the kids loved dipping their bread into the sauce and eating it. I myself must have ate a whole chicken myself.
We were honestly so full from the appetizers it was hard to get through the chicken without falling over. Our bellies were extremely satisfied and now all we craved was a nap. We all went back into the majlis and was offered traditional Moroccan tea (best in the world) and then this;
M’hanncha, which means “snake” is a traditional Moroccan pastry made of filo dough and filled with almond paste. It is made in a coil and served in a large platter, it was also so wonderful with the tea. We could tell a lot of hard work and love went to into making this dessert.
After this experience we could only imagine what the rest of our visit would be like. We were truly in North African food heaven and was so grateful to Kamal, his Mom and family for their generous hospitality, inviting us to Morocco and allowing us to stay with them.
It was truly an incredible culinary world-schooling experience for Lou Lou and Jaf and one that we’ll all remember.