Daybreak In Marrakech - A Marrakchi Breakfast
Before our friends that we were traveling with left Morocco they asked the question, "If there was some part of the culture you could bring home, what would it be?".
I love that.
From Morocco, I would take their idea of a good breakfast and a deep love of brightly colored pom poms.
A Marrakchi breakfast in my experience is one of epic proportions. There are quite a few variations but in general if you sit down to eat breakfast, you can expect a few varieties of bread, fresh juice, an egg, homemade yogurt, mint tea, and possibly some fruit, honey, and jam.
The best part, all of this could be yours for two to three US dollars. What?!
If you're doing a bit of early morning wandering you can grab a cup of fresh juice at the juice wagons for about $50 cents and a messman (a flatbread that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside spread with soft cheese and honey and served rolled to easily carry) cooked by women outside shops. A little later in the morning you can find a Moroccan variety of donut.
Now that you know the basics, let me tell you about my favorite (and coincidentally the most expensive at coming in at $3.20) Moroccan breakfast and how it has induced me to believe that perhaps I should eat multiple types of bread for breakfast.
My favorite place to get breakfast was a restaurant called Zeitoun. It is located right on the edge of the Jma Al Fna square (the main area of the medina). You can sit in the sun up on the terrace and watch the people below scurrying to set up their wares for the day and enjoy the colorful surroundings while waiting for your food.
A couple days before leaving Morocco we were sitting on the street level patio and a little girl selling cookies found us and fell in love with our girls. If you happen to visit, there are a number of people walking around selling these cookies, try one. They are basically the best combination of a snickerdoodle and a macaron. Lets just say it's a good thing we didn't find out about them until the end of our trip or we would've eaten about a million of them.
Anyway, back to breakfast. I like to order the breakfast of two crepes with sugar, fresh orange juice, a cappuccino and homemade yogurt. I will admit I was a bit surprised to find that the crepes and other French pastries were so good! After I had a little history lesson it made a bit more sense as they were French occupied until about fifty years ago.
Johnny tended to get something more savory and traditionally Moroccan (it was what was recommended to us by some locals). It included a pot of mint tea, batbout which is a bit like an English muffin and khlia eggs. The khlia eggs a made with a naturally dried, seasoned beef or lamb that is cooked in olive oil, water and some sort of animal fat then the eggs are added and cooked on top. When finished they are eaten with the batbout. It has a really complex meaty flavor and is quite filling. He was just happy to finally find a place that served some sort of meat for breakfast!
After leaving Morocco I found that when making breakfast for myself I'll grab many of the same things - a piece of toast with jam, a yogurt, tea, a chocolate croissant and a piece of fruit. Then I realized that maybe Morocco has influenced my food choices more than I expected (I never would've considered having more than one type of bread before). Interesting how that works when we travel, taking little bits of different cultures home with us and making them a part of our daily lives.
Do you like to bring home new recipes and traditions when traveling or would you prefer to experience a culture in it's normal surroundings?