Taking a wander through the local markets of Morocco is a fascinating way to soak in the distinct local flavour. You can discover the culture and traditions that go hand-in-hand with food and even get to try the local delicacies for under a dollar.
Laura Carroll gives you some tips on how to come out of your culinary shell in the Kingdom of Morocco…
“Vendors sell all kinds of wares in the food market of the Fes Medina. Walking through the curious and colourful stalls you quickly lose track of time while you peruse the impressive displays of fruits, vegetables, meats, breads, cheeses and snails. Yes, real, live, garden-variety, cook-them-at-home snails. Crawling all over a large woven basket, the snails look more like prospective pets than your potential dinner, but they are definitely destined for the dinner plate.
Since snails are essentially scavengers and bottom feeders, they have to be specially treated before being prepared as food. So that they excrete whatever they might have previously had in their systems, the snails are given a meal of white flour and then starved for the following three days. Once that process is completed, streets stalls sell the snails to customers who will then bring them home and cook them that night.
If you haven’t got your own stove handy, there are fortunately plenty of food stands that will sell you snails all prepared and ready to eat. Five dirhams gets you a small bowl of the creatures, cooked with salt and spices and served in their own tasty broth. They’re not anything like French escargot and they are a definite departure from other quick lunch options, but give them a try and soon you’ll be wondering why the whole world isn’t joining you to enjoy fresh snails in the medina!”
Have you tried snails in Morocco or discovered other local delicacies while wandering through streets or markets?
* Fes photo by Julia Palenov – Intrepid Photography Competition