Travel on a Plate – Passport Optional

Publish: April 30, 2020

Whether your travels take you to far flung exotic locations or to your closest beach or mountain cabin, you are all probably feeling the need to get away…anywhere for a change of scenery other than the four walls we call home.  I know that we are!  So until we can get back to our new normal (whatever that looks like), we’ve decided to share some of our past food and travel experiences with you.  So, if you are dreaming of a vacation or just trying to come up with something new for dinner, hopefully you will find yourself transported through our travels.  At the very least, and not unimportant, your tastebuds will be transported as we share dishes for you to try at home.

One of my favorite places to visit was Marrakesh, Morocco.   There are a number of beautiful gardens filled with a variety of exotic plants, including flowers, palms, citrus, apricot, pomegranate, olive and cypress trees as well as works by famous artists.  We visited the Koutoubia Gardens which are also home to a number of storks.  There are also several palaces and Moroccan mansions, called riads that are common to Marrakesh.  These riads consist of rooms that open to courtyards, some of which boast amazing tilework and craftsmanship by artisans from centuries-old family traditions.   The highlight of our trip was a visit to the Jemaa el-Fnaa, one of the best known squares in Africa.  It is a mix of tradition and modern and attracts people from around the world.  In the square you will see cars and camels, snake charmers, musicians and monkeys and acrobats all vying for your attention and your money!  The market in Marrakesh is the largest in Morocco and has hundreds of shops, called souks, which have everything from leather goods, carpets, pottery, metal artwork, traditional Muslim attire, shoes and jewelry.  Then there are stalls that are dedicated to food items, such as citrusy lemons and oranges, black, green, and red olives, dried fruit and nuts and a common ingredient in Moroccan cuisine and tea, mint.    We ate at one of the local restaurants, seated at common tables.  We ended up at a table with a group of people from Germany.  They spoke very little English, and we spoke some German.  But we all spoke the universal language of good food, good wine, and good company.  The food was plentiful, simply prepared, yet delicious in its simplicity.  Moroccan cuisine can includes both vegetables and fruit giving you a balance between sweet and savory.  Moroccan food relies on whole fresh ingredients like whole grains and chickpeas with herbs and spices such as ginger and turmeric for layers of flavor.  If you’d like to get the taste of Morocco at home, there are some great recipes to try on Piquant Post.  A few of my favorites to try are the Citrus Mint Salad with Harissa, the Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup, and the Lamb Tangine with Apricots.  The wonderful thing about Piquant Post is that, with a subscription, you can have freshly ground, small batch spice blends to include some delicious recipes delivered right to your door.  To add variety and global flavors to your cooking routine, click here.