January 7, 2011
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On our trip to Niger in 2006, Reuben and I traveled on a Moroccan airline that required a 12-hour layover in Casablanca before continuing to Niamey. Before 9/11 when I was in the Peace Corps, the layover was upwards of 36 hours, complete with a free hotel stay, transportation meals! So, since I’d explored Casablanca a bit on previous trips, and I speak French, we decided to venture into the city during our daytime layover.
We did some touristy things that I’ll blog about another time. Then we got hungry. Some Americans who we met on the plane and who joined us on our adventure opted to eat at a fancy cafe. We were looking for something more authentically Moroccan, so we wandered deep into old town.
There, we spotted this (not the white guy — that’s my husband!):
Real Moroccan tagine — a slow-simmered stew of lamb, potatoes, and vegetables. And we knew it had to be good because the shop was full of locals. I love street food–both for the quality and the price–so I was ecstatic. We entered and I ordered, and soon we had our own steaming bowls of Casablancan goodness. It was HOT. I mean, way too hot for our soft American fingers. I went back to the counter to order up a couple of forks, and the cook didn’t seem too surprised.
We saw some breathtaking architecture and some memorable sites in Morocco that day. But my favorite memory was eating tagine with the locals.