Friday, October 05, 2007

in the Maghreb

Thank you Welshcakes for inviting me to guest blog for your fans in your absence.

I’m telling you up front on these posts of mine there will be not photographs of gorgeous cuisine, or yummy recipes. So you shall have to await the wonderful Welshcakes’ return for such as that.

A bit to the south and further west of Sicily is Morocco, my home at present. Now is the BEST time of year! The rain has come, the temperature has dropped, and the skies are a brilliant blue with mountains of fluffy white clouds. From now until June it will be a combination of the best of Spring and Fall. When the rains come, everything comes up green, the flowers bloom, the birds get chubby, the cool breezes blow off the Atlantic, and I begin to WALK. The Moroccans have already put on their heavier jackets and shoes, while I’m still in my sandals and skirts. The summer fruits have disappeared from the streets and the premier crop of dates are out. The Berbers have come to town with their wares, and many of the year’s best festivals are ahead.

This morning in the medina I saw the Berber rug merchants have come to town with their new wares. They were spreading the rugs down the middle of the roads of the medina to show off the colors and weaves. Many of the hannouts are splashing on a new coat of paint, in preparation for the increased number of tourists to come I imagine. It is the time of year when the dates are at their best. The big Date Festival is this month. I treated myself to a half-kg. of the “king’s dates” this morning to break my Ramadan fast tonight. Dates are considered the holy food, and I’m right on board with that. This magnificent festival is held annually in the Erfoud area where nearly a million date palms grow. They grow a wide range of types of dates. The majestic palm-trees, waving lazily in the warm breeze provide shade and a livelihood. The peasants who cultivate them rely on them for almost everything. The festival last for three days, and the region’s tribes and innkeepers come together, where they share tea and society. On the last day there is a camel race. I’m rather sad I will be out of the country during the festival, but I’m celebrating by eating as many dates as I can.

9 comments:

DeeJay said...

Sounds wonderful and I can just picture the scene. Any chance of some pics of the colourful market?

Mama Zen said...

I bet a camel race is something to see!

jmb said...

Lovely images of Morocco as usual Lady Mac.
I love dates too and sadly the medjool dates are so expensive here. Next time I see them I'll think of this post.
regards
jmb

lady macleod said...

deejay

Sure, just pop over to my place and click on the photos on the right: Rabat Medina

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

Mama Zen

Indeed!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

jmb

thank you, and thank you for coming by.

tooth fairy said...

I was in Morocco last March/April for a three week tour and just loved it. I remember seeing the date palms. The most amazing thing was meeting a berber nomad family living in a tent in the Sahara. Are you living in Rabat? I hope to make it back to Morocco someday.

lady macleod said...

tooth fairy

yes, do come by!

thank you for coming by - here.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank YOU, Lady M, for posting here. As always when you write, I feel I am with you and this post is a wonderful description of this time of year in Morocco. The dates must be delicious!

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