The medina of Essaouira is 100x’s easier to follow than Marrakech. It’s straight forward without the winding, twisting alleyways that seem to double back and turn in circles. It’s not loaded with products to entice tourists (this is not to say those products don’t exist). It’s a market for the people who live there. Dotted with stalls that sell the products to meet the daily needs of the inhabitants. You’ll find small butcher shops carved out – and you’ll know it’s a butcher because who could miss that? The Scala or fish market is tucked back, but just a little bit. It’s wet and once you enter be careful of where you step. The early morning will have the best selection.
Lining the outer perimeter of the scala are the herbalist and spice purveyors. There are tens of spices waiting to be tried. The best deal however is the sea salt. I bought 2 kilos (nearly a pound) of fantastic sea salt for 2 dirham or 25 cents. If I would have had more room I would have bought more.
My favorite food stall to visit is the olive man. Towering temples of jewel colored olives fill the entire store front. In Essaouira not only are there olives but towers of diced preserved lemons. This is why when you go to Essaouira you need to rent an apartment. With so many fresh, fantastic food options so close at hand you will want to run out and grab whatever you can find and make something great.
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