What Is a Berber Pizza?

“You want to eat something different?” This is a thorny question that depends on who’s asking and why. Mustapha, who’d been driving us throughout Morocco, found out early that my wife and I were willing eaters. Maybe not willing so much as open to trying local food. To a point. We're not Andrew Zimmern after... Continue Reading →

Brilliant Cooking at Riad Boussa and How It Made Me Re-imagine Fruit Ingredients

It consisted of simply orange juice and shredded cucumbers. This unlikely pairing, a combination I’d ordinarily skip over in a cookbook, made a sublime cold soup, the beginning of a superb three-course dinner at Riad Boussa in Marrakech. In keeping with Moroccan tradition of having it on Fridays, the next course was a couscous. The... Continue Reading →

Do Moroccan Goats Fly?

We all know pigs can fly. But goats? Argan trees only grow in Morocco. Morocco also has lots of goats. Have some goats evolved the ability to fly? You might wonder that when you see a tree filled with them along the road between Essaouira and Marrakech. Seeing this unusual sight was one of the... Continue Reading →

Here’s a Tip, You Can Never Have Enough Coins in Morocco

Travelers to Morocco, be forewarned. The tipping culture is pervasive. This is not unique to Morocco, of course, but I never thought the problem was going to be as big as it became. Add to this the fact that most of Morocco operates pretty much as a cash economy. Credit cards are accepted only by... Continue Reading →

Monkey’s Hands, Dadès Gorge (Morocco)

On our way to the overlook that looks down on the Dadès Gorge, we went past a wondrous formation called Monkey's Hands or Monkey's Fingers. It's as if the hillsides met a giant scrambler some time in the past. These iron-rich and soft sedimentary layers eroded over time to produce these strange and convoluted rocks.

Flushing Toilets in the Sahara Desert

We had a choice of sharing a bathroom or having our own. Eh, what? A bathroom in the middle of the Sahara? My wife doesn't mind a simple tent, dirt floors, sleeping in bags and eating out of tin plates, but she'd much prefer to have her own bathroom. So when there was the option... Continue Reading →

Sailing the Ships of the Desert—Camel Trekking in the Sahara

When we planned our Morocco trip, my wife wanted very much to have the experience of riding camels in the Sahara. I liked the idea a lot, too. After all, how often does one get to ride the ships of the desert in their native habitat? On top of that, we chose to stay overnight... Continue Reading →

Getting Serious About Restaurant Dar Hatim’s Pastilla (Fes, Morocco)

"It's jam." So said Fouad when I asked him if the reddish chile seed-laden paste was harissa. He chuckled. A little dab on my tongue told me it was ground up fresh chiles and preserved lemon, salty, intense, definitely spicy. Later, as the pastilla was served, he pointed at the plate of powdered sugar. "This is... Continue Reading →

The Roman Ruins at Volubilis, Morocco

The ancient ruins of Volubilis near Meknes, Morocco, are one of the best preserved of the ancient Roman Empire. Only partially excavated and surrounded by wheat fields, the Romans established a colony on this southeastern edge of the empire before finally being abandoned in the third century.

Chefchaouen, The City of Blue

It’s hard to describe what I felt when I first saw Chefchaouen. It’s like no other town I’ve ever seen, a city awash in blue. Some say it’s the color of the sky or the Mediterranean, but the hue is neither. My first view was from a highway overlook outside the city. From there, one... Continue Reading →

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