Tangier Images, 2017

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We Found the Real Morocco

Highlights from one of the most rewarding days of our travels through Morocco in January 2016:

Today we discovered the real Morocco. We traveled west of Fes to visit a Berber family (the uncle and aunt of Mohammed, manager of the house we are renting) with the expectation of learning to make bread and couscous the old-world way, and to see what rural life is like in Morocco. The experience was so much more than we could have imagined.

We took two meals with the Elamrani family. They were absolutely charming and made us feel most welcome. We walked through the small village and met other relatives. We kissed so many children at the one-room schoolhouse within the Mosque; they were very curious about these strange people in their midst, especially the woman with the straw-colored hair. We were treated to mint tea on a roof – although I’ll confess: I was mildly terrified getting up and down the rustic ladder. We shared stories with the delightful Elamrani clan about our different cultures, with nephew Simohammed serving as translator (and even Google Translate for the really tough stuff).

Oh, and and we did learn to make bread and couscous! For the bread, the dough was expertly kneaded in a clay platter, then formed into a classic flatbread and placed in the wood-fired stone oven with a long, wooden peel. The couscous was made from a semolina and wheat flour dough, which was hand-processed into couscous beads using an age-old basket-rolling and sifting method (as demonstrated by Fatima in this video).

Throughout the day, we savored the breathtaking beauty, profound peacefulness and simplicity of life there. After six hours, we felt like family.

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