According to the guidebooks, we are supposed to be vigilant about the hygiene standards of street food in Morocco. Throughout my trip, I had a mix of better restaurant food and street food. I was pretty glad that my stomach held up well.
This emboldened me into plunging into all sorts of food when at the Djemma el-Fna Square in Marrakech.
We first went to a cooked food stall for a quick dinner. This stall was located in the row in front of the souks, adjacent to the row of stalls selling snails (apologies, I forgot take note of the stall number)! Apparently, it received a recommendation from TripAdvisor!
The Chicken Pastilla is one of the standard local Moroccan dishes. It’s similar to the chicken pie, except that the pastry is crispy and sweet, and the meat filling is cooked with Moroccan spices. Apparently, the Pastilla was reserved solely for celebrations, such as weddings or family get-togethers although you could now order it at any local restaurant.
We just ordered a bunch of different dishes and shared. It was one of the best meals I have had in Morocco, to be honest!
We next moved to the next store which sold boiled snails. It was totally no frills. Just pay 5 MAD (that’s like less than S$1) and the seller would scoop a bowl of snails.
We didn’t drink the soup, which was in a dark brown hue that didn’t look appetizing.
Next, we walked around to check out other stalls. Along the way, we were approached by touters to patronise their shops. However, the gimmicks they used were somewhat deplorable.
One guy from Stall 117 said, “Remember 117! Your way to Heaven!”
As we walked on, another guy pointed to my companion, “Hey, you fashion disaster! You could come to our stall!”
Anyway, we were observing this stew stall and contemplating whether to order something. It looked delicious and I would have had a go, if I didn’t have that much meat at dinner. Essentially, they would chop up the sheep’s head which is slow-cooked in various spices.
There were a number of street peddlers selling these pastries, known as coconut ghriba. It costs only 1MAD (which is less than S$0.20) and tasted like macarons. I could pop a few at one go while shopping in the souks!
Other than food and shopping, there were tonnes of entertainment stalls at the Square. Of course, the touters could be aggressive. The snake charmers could insist on putting the snake around you and then charge an exorbitant price after you have taken a photo. The henna ladies might insist on drawing henna on your hands, and you know what would happen you get your henna.
Nonetheless, the night was buzzing at the Djemaa El Fna Square and I really enjoyed myself there. I could imagine myself a repeat visitor if I had spent more nights in Marrakech.
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