Our quick and mind-blowing taste of Marrakech

Hello from Morocco! Let’s talk about our brief time in Marrakech that was, in true Megan and Mike-style, all about what to eat in Morocco! I’ll let Mike take it from here, using his words and photos…

Full and happy, in the middl of the Jemaa el-Fnaa

Full and happy, in the middl of the Jemaa el-Fnaa

After our seven hour flight from New York to Casablanca, Megan slept on a couch in the lounge with her head in my lap, as I balanced my laptop on one leg and looked up the pronunciation of “Djemaa el-Fna.” Then we took a quick flight to Marrakech.

For those curious, neither of us slept much on our flights, but now we can relax a bit in our hotel, before Megan gets dental work at Djemaa el-Fna square!! Time to look up how to pronounce “can that monkey drill a cavity out?”

Because we all know how much I love dentists.

Because we all know how much Megan loves dentists.

I’ll tell you about our amazing hotel (the El Fenn) at some other point – but here’s a pic of our room…

If you look hard enough you can see Megan working on the patio.

If you look hard enough you can see Megan working on the patio.

And one of the six baby tortoises that walk around the reception area. (I may or may not have kicked one by accident (he did an excellent impression of a hockey puck))…

baby tortoise

megan and the turtle

I will quickly mention that we’ve been completely safe – almost everyone has been super nice – and our stomachs are totally fine so far. Speaking of stomachs…

Drinks on a rooftop in Marrakech.

Drinks on a rooftop in Marrakech.

In case, you’re wondering what to eat in Morocco…

Megan and Yousef

Megan and Youssef

We went to a guided tour called “Taste the Real Marrakech.” Our guide Youssef took us on a 12 course meal of food stands in and around the central square Jemaa el-Fna, which was mind-blowing and delicious…

1. Started with fantastic savory donuts (sfinge)

making sfinge savory donuts marrakech

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2. Tried Moroccan pancakes (beghrir)

From wikipedia: "Baghrir is an ancient Berber pancake, originating in North Africa. They are small, spongy and made with semolina or flour; when cooked correctly, they are riddled with tiny holes."

From wikipedia: “Baghrir is an ancient Berber pancake, originating in North Africa. They are small, spongy and made with semolina or flour; when cooked correctly, they are riddled with tiny holes.”

3. Sampled all kinds of local olives

Morocco is getting me to like all kinds of olives! We bought some of those pink and orange ones today. #marrakech #morocco #jamaaelfna #marketplace #olives #morocstars

A post shared by Treats & Geeks (@treatsandgeeks) on

4. Had some sort of tasty local beef sandwich (khlii)

From Wikipedia: "Khlea (also called khlii) is a type of Moroccan preserved meat, usually made from beef. The meat is cut into strips, marinated with cumin, coriander and garlic, and then dried in the sun before it's cooked in a mixture of animal fat, oil and water. The meat, once cooled, will keep for up to two years at room temperature when packed in the cooking fat."

From Wikipedia: “Khlea (also called khlii) is a type of Moroccan preserved meat, usually made from beef. The meat is cut into strips, marinated with cumin, coriander and garlic, and then dried in the sun before it’s cooked in a mixture of animal fat, oil and water. The meat, once cooled, will keep for up to two years at room temperature when packed in the cooking fat.”

5. Sampled various nuts and dried fruit (almonds and dates are amazing here)

Mike and his date.

Mike and his date — the first thing he bought in Morocco, of course.

6. Stuffed cow spleen sandwich, basically weird ground beef (tihane)

stuffed cow spleen

7. Lamb mechoui – the best roast lamb ever

Apparently the families of Marrakech bring their lamb to one of these stands, where they're lowered into one of these pits, and slow-roasted for six hours, until they taste so good you can't stop laughing while you eat.  Even if you are sitting across from the dead and skinned bodies of their brethren.

Apparently the families of Marrakech bring their lamb to one of these stands, where they’re lowered into one of these pits, and slow-roasted for six hours, until they taste so good you can’t stop laughing while you eat. Even if you are sitting across from the dead and skinned bodies of their brethren.

8. All kinds of fresh juices (the orange juice here is fantastic – I also went for nectarine-grapefruit)

There are a lot of fresh juice-makers in Jemma el-Fna, but stall number 42 is the best!

There are a lot of fresh juice-makers in Jemma el-Fna, but stall number 42 is the best!

9. Fried fish and eggplant

fried fish vendor marrakech

10. Tomato soup and chebakia (deep-fried sesame cookies)

tomato soup and Chebakia

11. Snails (anise and hot-peppered flavored, in a bowl of broth) – wasn’t our favorite

While Mike looks like handsome incarnate with his snail, Megan eating snails does not look as pretty...

While Mike looks like handsome incarnate with his snail, Megan eating snails does not look as pretty…

12. Finished the meal off with a sample of local pastries – the almond ones are amazing

moroccan pastries

Stuffed, we went back to our hotel and laid on the rooftop patio, drank mint tea, and listened to the call to prayer echoing through the city…

mint tea on the rooftop

We’ll report in from Ouarzazate… :)

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