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      July 2010 > Lingering on the taste buds

Lingering on the taste buds

Sacks of Moroccan spicesLast week, I attended a workshop given by the Moroccan Tourist Board in London. There were the usual presentations and some surprising insights into the culture and heritage of this amazing land, after which we had lunch. And what a lunch it was! The smells and aromas of the North African spices had begun to pervade the hall long before we were led to the dining room, whetting our appetites for what lay in store.

Breaking bread with your Moroccan hostsThe highly spiced lamb and lemon tagine served with couscous was simply delicious, and took me back to those heady days when I first went to North Africa to research our walking holidays in Morocco. I’d been told about this wonderful place called Douar Samra in Tamatert, where a lovely Swiss lady, Jacqueline Brandt, has lovingly converted a traditional Berber house into a peaceful retreat in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

There was no electricity then, yet we hardly even noticed. Meals were cooked in a wood-burning stove by a charming lady called Rashida, who carefully crafted mouth-watering dishes with consummate ease and great skill. She didn’t need the ‘mod-cons’ we all take for granted, and we were soon tucking into a spicy tagine and warm, freshly-baked bread, followed by that classic Moroccan speciality - a chocolate fondant! (Ok, so a fondant’s not a traditional North African recipe, but to create one in such a climate, on such a stove, was truly outstanding.) Rashida is still there, still cooking wonderful food - and still without electricity!

Memories of Morocco and the Atlas Mountains

Posted: 15/07/2010 15:37:40 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: gastronomy, Morocco, walking

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