MarocMama

eat well, travel often, dream big!

Moroccan Kefta and Eggs Tagine

The blogging community is really amazing.  Over the past five years I have met so many wonderful people through our mutual shared interests.  When I began to prepare for our relocation, I knew that I had to make plans for my blog too, as I’m not sure how long it will be until we have an internet connection nor when our boxes (with all my kitchen things!) will arrive.  Thankfully several bloggers have come to my rescue to provide some guest posts until I am able to get back into the swing of things.  Today I am excited to welcome Pam of Blueberries and Blessings.  This was her first taste of Moroccan food and it’s one of our very favorite dishes!

A big hello from northeast Florida today! I’m Pam, from Blueberries And Blessings. I am thrilled to be posting on Maroc Mama today. Amanda and I  met through our mutual love for  #SundaySupper, and I love all of the delicious dishes she presents on her blog, and what a great chance to expand my culinary horizons by trying a new cuisine!

Now let’s talk about Kefta!

 

Kefta in Skillet

 

The Kefta are tiny lil meatballs, seasoned with a wonderful blend of cinnamon and cumin, swimming in all of this goodness. It’s a wonderful blend of flavors, fresh and delicious.

 

Kefta and Eggs Tagine
The eggs poach perfectly in the freshly made tomato sauce and make an amazing meal.

 

Eggs Tagine Yolk

 

This would be a great dish to start with if you have never made any Middle Eastern dishes, like myself. It looks incredibly impressive and is very simple to prepare. My whole family – including my 6 year old – loved it!

 

Thank you Amanda, for giving me an opportunity to try a dish I would have likely overlooked!

 

Moroccan Kefta and Eggs Tagine

Ingredients

    For the Kefta Meatballs
  • (16 oz) ground beef or lamb
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • black pepper to taste
  • For the Eggs
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • handful of green pitted olives, coarsely chopped or sliced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (OR 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
  • 6 large eggs

Instructions

  • Mix the ground meat with the salt, cumin, cinnamon and pepper. Shape this kefta mixture into small meatballs the size of large cherries, and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the olives, and cook for several minutes more.
  • Add the tomatoes and seasoning and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing the tomatoes as you go, until a chunky tomato sauce has formed.
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring several times to turn the meatballs, until the meat is cooked through. Break a meatball to test if it's done before proceeding.
  • Pour the eggs directly over the tomato sauce and meatballs.
  • Cover the eggs and allow them to poach until done.
  • Dust the top of the cooked eggs with cumin and salt to taste, garnish with a little chopped parsley, and serve.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/08/moroccan-kefta-and-eggs-tagine.html

 

Thank you Pam for sharing this guest post with everyone! If you’re following our moving journey – we’re set to arrive in Marrakech today!  Watch for updates soon here and on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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East German Goulash with Caramelized Onions

I’m so happy today to be guest posting for Beate at The Not So Cheesy Kitchen. She and I met through #SundaySupper and I’ve enjoyed reading her blog ever since. Today I’m sharing a recipe for goulash. After high school, I spent some time in Dresden, the most beautiful city in Germany (my opinion of course!), and formerly a part of East Germany. I have very strong memories of eating goulash with a dumpling, though have found this dumpling impossible to recreate. Instead, I’ve just re-made the goulash pairing it with rice instead. This recipe is gluten free and dairy free (there are options to add dairy if you prefer).

East German Goulash

Step into the Not so Cheesy Kitchen for the full recipe!

Pssst – I’m at BlogHer this weekend so be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find out about all my adventures! If you happen to be at BlogHer too, I hope you’ll say hello!

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{Expat Guest Post} Alyson of World Travel Family

When we decided to become expats, I knew there were others like us out there – I just had to find them.  Once I started looking, I was amazed at just how many people have chosen an expatriate lifestyle. So many people tell me that they wish they could move to another country; I want to share the stories of those who have made the choice.  I hope that these stories might encourage others to take the plunge.  My first guest post is from Alyson, the author of World Travel Family.  We’ve both got two boys about the same age, and she’s Welsh (bet you didn’t know part of my family is from Wales too!). Their family is planning a two-year travel stint and I can’t wait to read all about their adventures.  Oh, and Alyson hope you know if you add Morocco to the list we’d love to show you around! 

Alyson World Travel Family

In January 2005 I was sobbing as I handed my baby over to a day care worker. I was stuck, I had no choice, I had to return to full-time work after just six months of unpaid maternity leave. There were issues with contracts, I was just very unlucky.

The situation stank and I couldn’t bear it.

A year later, I was pregnant with my second child and determined to keep both babies at home with me, no matter what. I couldn’t go through that trauma again, we had to do something.

I loved living in London, we had been there for eight years, ever since I met my husband in Egypt and moved to the capital to be with him. We had been busy, first travelling and then buying and renovating two properties, always working hard. But hard work in London isn’t enough to buy you freedom, property prices are astronomical, one of our salaries was entirely taken up by mortgage repayments. We had only one option, we had to leave.

The Practicalities of Becoming an Expat

My husband is Australian, so picking a country was a no-brainer, getting a residential visa for me wouldn’t be too difficult, the boys had Australian citizenship by right of birth. It was easy to make the decision to leave my family and friends and the life I loved behind, when the alternative was losing most of my babies’ childhoods.

The visa forms were long and tedious, we didn’t use an agency, we didn’t feel there was any need. We collected the information we needed and submitted the forms. My approval arrived within 6 weeks.

Sugar Wharf Port Douglas Australia
We shipped all our possessions to Australia. It cost us about $7000 and was a piece of cake. The removal company came to our house and packed everything up for us. A few months later they turned up at our rented home in Port Douglas, Queensland and unpacked it all again. It’s a great service and one that I’d highly recommend.

Adjusting to Expat Life in Australia

At first living in the tropics was glorious. We rented a house while we looked for a property to buy, it felt like we were permanently on holiday. Waking up to the squawking of lorikeets, looking out at our tropical garden and swimming in the Coral Sea were heavenly. I thought this would be our “forever home”. The boys would go to school here, we’d be involved in the community and put down roots. I even tried to convince my parents to move out here with us. I’m glad they didn’t, after the excitement of buying our own home, complete with pool, started to wear off, the cracks started to show.

I’m not cut out for life in Australia. It’s not me, I don’t fit.

I’m a city girl, I like shops and people, having things to do. Life here is just too slow. We live in a remote community, Port Douglas is a fairly upmarket resort town, but facilities are thin on the ground. The few shops here cater to tourists, not the needs of locals. I’m not cut out for small town life, I don’t like everyone knowing my business, I’d rather have anonymity. I’m too British, I miss so many things from home, from foods, to pubs, to the National Health Service to shoe shops. It seems like every day something will remind me of the things I miss from back home and make me resent living here even more.

Port Douglas Australia

No Regrets

I don’t believe in regrets. I don’t regret moving here, it has been an interesting experience and one that has brought me rewards. We’ve all learnt a lot, about who we are and what makes us tick, as well as gaining an understanding of all things Australian. The move gave me my children back, they have both been home with me full-time, other than when my eldest went to school for a couple of years. If it weren’t for the terrible local school I would never have discovered homeschooling, we love our way of living and learning, I wish we had decided on this path earlier.

If we weren’t so fed up with living here we would probably never have decided to change our lives again, we are going back to something we love, travel. Not just holidays, long-term, nomadic, endless travel. After almost six years in Port Douglas we are leaving to travel the world, it can’t come soon enough. I started a blog about this crazy idea we had, travelling the world with the kids to give them an education. Blogging is fun, something else that expat life has brought me.

I always imagined that living a simpler life, near a tropical beach would be my dream existence. I’ve discovered that it’s not, but if I hadn’t tried it, I wouldn’t know. You should only regret the things you never tried, not the ones you did.

You can connect with Alyson on her blog, World Travel Family.  Join her Facebook community and follow her on Twitter.

[tbpquotable]Learn more about @alywong26 of World Travel Family in this week’s #expat guest post. [/tbpquotable]

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Morocco from A-Z

Morocco from A-Z

Recently I guest posted on Glittering Muffins.  Valerie has a very cool guest post series in which people share information about their state, country or even city.

I found it really interesting that when I sat down to think of something representing Morocco that started with every letter of the alphabet I had no problem!

Stop by and visit Glittering Muffins to learn about Morocco from A-Z.

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Guest Post: Mango & Tomatoes’ Moroccan Chicken

Today’s guest post comes from Olga at Mango & Tomato.  I had the pleasure of meeting Olga at Eat Write Retreat in May.  I had so much fun getting to know her. I really love her great eye for photography and fabulous recipes.  I’m so happy she was willing to share this recipe!  Please make sure to stop by her website for more fantastic recipes and good eats in Washington DC.  You can also follow her on Twitter @mangotomato 
 
This recipe for Moroccan chicken came about partially because my mom made it in Seattle, and my sister and my dad liked it. There is nothing strange about my sister and mom liking Moroccan chicken. But the fact that my dad liked a dish with spices other than your typical salt/pepper/garlic/parsley, is really saying something!
 
Last weekend I decided to have a few of my friends over for dinner and to make chili and cornbread. One pot dishes are my favorites: little work is required, and yet you have quite a bit of flavor. What does this have to do with Moroccan chicken, you might be wondering. Well, my twin, Anna, told me that she thought making chili for a dinner get together was rather boring and uninspiring. She suggested I make Moroccan chicken. And since Anna is older than me (by 30 minutes!), I listened.
 
I used some of the ingredients from the recipe my mom recited over the phone {she found it in a Costco magazine} and some of the spices from a recipe I’ve made for Robyn, and a few random additions of my own.
 
Moroccan Chicken (this is enough for 6-10 people)
 
Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 6 skinless & boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced (I used 1 red and 1 white)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 green peppers cut into 1″ chunks
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 15 ounce cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • parsley, chopped
  • 1/2  cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • cous cous, cooked


 
Directions
1. Heat a bit of oil in a large soup pot. In several batches cook the chicken for a few minutes. There is no need to brown it. You just want to make sure it’s not pink on the outside. Remove the chicken from the pot.

2. Add a bit more oil if necessary. Add onions and garlic to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes.

3. Add spices and cook for 2 more minutes. I had to add a bit of water at this point (you can also add more oil if you want).
4. Add carrots and peppers and cook for 5 more minutes.

5. Add crushed tomatoes and garbanzo beans. Bring everything to a boil. Add the chicken back to the pot. Also drop in the golden raisins. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the chicken, add a bit of water. I had to add about a cup. No big deal: you can also add more tomatoes if you have them, wine or even chicken broth. It’s not neuroscience: it’s cooking! Don’t be scared and have fun.

6. Bring everything to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes. Make sure your chicken is cooked all the way through.
 
Note: I toasted the slivered almonds in a little cast iron skillet. You can toast them in the oven on a cookie sheet or even in a microwave. 

 
Serve the Moroccan chicken over cous cous and top with almonds and parsley.

 
This dish turned out to be quite a party pleaser, which made me really happy.

 
Variations:

  • Use thighs instead of chicken breasts.
  • Add dried apricots instead of (or with) golden raisins.
  • Feel free to add other vegetables such as zucchini or thinly sliced potatoes.
  • You can also serve this as a stew without cous cous or serve it over mashed potatoes or rice.
Original post can be found here.  Shared with permission from author.

 

 

 

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Guest Post: Sweets of Serbia

Today’s guest post is from Lana of Bibberche.  She is a total sweetheart and I’ve long admired her from seeing her tweets.  I was so shy to even ask her if she would want to do a guest post because she is so talented and I thought she would scoff at my request.  Lucky for me (and for you!) she agreed to do a post on Serbian desserts.  You’re really in for a treat.

 
I was one of the people who scorned technology and dismissed the computers as a way of communication when I was in college. But I have retracted my opinions a long time ago, and cannot imagine my life without the Internet. I keep in touch with my family scattered all over the world, I connect with old friends, and I make new ones. Amanda was one of the first people I met on Twitter. I realized from reading her blog that we have a lot in common (having married men from foreign countries being only the most obvious connection). I am grateful for our virtual friendship and enjoyed tremendously writing this guest post. Thank you, Amanda, for your hospitality!

 

I was born in the town of Novi Pazar in southwestern Serbia, very close to the border with today’s Montenegro and Herzegovina. My parents were newlyweds when they moved there, Father a young doctor, Mother the high school German and Art teacher. Their apartment was on the second floor of a building looking over the main street that became the promenade at night, filled with young men and women walking in a lazy, elongated circle, casting surreptitious glances at their secret crushes, shy and apprehensive, with many awkward giggles hidden behind a hand.

The town was a mix of Christians and Muslims with early 10th century solid rock churches on the outskirts looking over the slender minarets in the center. Four centuries of Turkish Ottoman rule left a significant imprint on the area changing forever the religious and cultural milieu of the land. The Turks rode back east in the late nineteenth century, but a big part of their culture stayed behind.
 
We moved to central Serbia when I was a baby, and went back to Novi Pazar only occasionally to visit relatives and friends. I was always fascinated by this town which reminded me of 1001 Nights with its mosques, narrow cobble-stoned streets, small shops selling hand-made copper dishes and filigree gold, the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans, the high brick and mortar walls with gates facing the street, men in red fezes smoking unfiltered cigarettes and drinking tea for hours, the busy markets crowded with haggling shoppers, and people with strange sounding names.
 
We looked forward to these weekend two-hour trips by car, feeling as if we were going not only away in space, but back in time. The language had a different rhythm, the pace was slower, the sounds exotic, and the smells coming out of the kitchens unusual and romantic. The breads were flatter, the meat was definitely lamb, and thick yogurt accompanied many restaurant dishes.
 
Around noon, housewives would leave their chores at home and venture out into the streets, the yards of silk undulating around their legs, long, curly locks hidden behind a colorful scarf. They would visit each other, spending a leisurely hour drinking freshly ground and brewed Turkish coffee and spreading the neighborhood news whispered in confidence over the walls separating the houses.
 
Turkish coffee is strong, and wise women knew many tricks to prepare the gullet for enjoying it. Sometimes there were only sugar cubes to dunk into a small fildzan of hot, dark liquid. Sometimes there was rose or bergamot flavored rahat-lokum* on a saucer with an accompanying glass of water served as a refreshment before the coffee. Sometimes the hostess would offer her latest homemade fruit preserves, watching with hawk-like attention for her friends’ reactions.
 
And sometimes there would be desserts cut into small squares and drowned in sweet, lemony syrup. As kids, we learned quickly which houses promised the best feast and ran behind mothers, aunts, friends, and neighbors, eagerly anticipating the flavorful, exotic sugar rush.
 
Every time I go back to Serbia, I try to go to Novi Pazar to visit my relatives. The town has joined the 21st century with power lines swooping overhead and cell phones at every other ear, but if you squint, you can imagine yourself embraced by a sleepy, romantic air of bygone days, filled with smells and sounds reminiscent of the East.  To bring that feeling to my family in America, I try to introduce all my friends to the wonderful ritual of drinking Turkish coffee. I offer sugar cubes, rahat-lokum my parents regularly send from Serbia, and home-made fruit preserves. And sometimes I even make the sweet, simple desserts, covered in lemony syrup.
 
*rahat-lokum is known in English as Turkish Delight, a candy made of powdered sugar, starch, and aromatics, often containing nuts.

 

HURMAŠICE (BRDARICE)

(“Hurma” is a Turkish word for a date; these cookies are shaped to resemble dates. “Brdo” is a wiry part of a loom; when they are formed, the cookies were rolled against a loom, or later a grater to get the ubiquitous marks.)

Ingredients:

For Cookies:

  • I stick (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 Tbsp (125ml) sunflower oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup (150g) plain yogurt
  • 400g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon

For the syrup:

  • 500gr (1lb) sugar
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 1 lemon cut into circles

Directions:

Mix butter, oil, egg yolks, and yogurt until smooth. Separately sift flour and baking powder, and add lemon zest. Pour the liquid into the flour and mix to combine. The dough should not be too dense, but it should easily come away from the walls of the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350F.
 
Take a walnut-sized piece of dough, flatten it a bit, and roll against the side of the grater with small squares, forming it into an elliptical shape resembling a shell, or a date, with the sides coming together in the middle with a seem. Lay it on cookie sheet (no need to grease it) and continue with the rest of the dough, leaving some space between the cookies.
 

 

Bake for 30 minutes, until just barely golden.

In the meantime prepare the syrup. Heat the sugar and water until sugar dissolves, add the lemon slices, and continue simmering on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour hot syrup over cooled cookies and let them sit to absorb it for several hours.
 

 

 

 

TUFAHIJE

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium-sized apples (choose firmer apples that do not fall apart under heat)
  • 400ml (1 ½ cups) water
  • 400gr (15 oz) granulated sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 150gr (5 oz) ground walnuts
  • 250ml (1cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar

Directions:
 
Peel and core the apples (make the hole 1 inch in diameter) and lay them in a pot. Cover with water, sugar, and lemon juice, and cook for 15-20 minutes until softened, but still holding their shape. Take the apples out of the liquid and place them in a serving dish with walls at least 2 inches high. Continue simmering the liquid until it slightly thickens, another 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, fill the holes in cooked apples with ground walnuts. Pour the hot liquid over the apples and nuts. Add more nuts if necessary. Chill in the refrigerator. Whip the heavy whipping cream until the soft peaks form, add the sugar, and serve on top of the apples.
 

 

 
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    Today's guest post comes from Nicole and Gary Winchester of CultureAddict/HistoryNerd a most awesome blog from the Toronto couple.  You can also find them on Twitter @addict_nerd.  They are sharing about their trip to Ifrane in northern Morocco. Thanks so much for sharing this with my readers Nicole and Gary! Even after being in Morocco…
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Today’s guest post is from Holly Warah of Arabic Zeal.  Holly has been a friend on Twitter (@dubai_words) for sometime now.  She is originally from Seattle but is currently an expat in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with her family and is an up and coming blogger.  I highly suggest you stop by her site for great writing and great images with a unique peek into everyday life in Dubai. From Holly;

I dreamed of going to Morocco when I was 19. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Several decades later, as a mother of three, I saw a tiny ad in a British travel magazine: “Photography Holidays in Italy and Morocco.” I immediately went to the website and looked at the photos. I thought: That’s it. I’m going. I was headed to Morocco!

It was a nine-day Photography Holiday with a dozen Brits & three photography tutors. We spent our time in Marrakesh with a few days in a Berber Village in the Atlas Mountains. A typical morning started with a photography lesson & an assignment. The bulk of the day was spent on excursions and taking photographs. It was such a meaningful way to see the sights. In the evening, we shared our photos and exchanged critiques.

We stayed in a riad, a traditional Moroccan house in the Medina. We visited all the main sites of Marrakesh, and explored some amazing restaurants. It was a wonderful adventure. I learned to use my camera, and the quality of my photos improved tenfold.

This trip was organized by a London-based company called Frui. They also have Cooking Holidays and Painting Holidays in Marrakesh and other places. The photos I’m sharing were taken inside the walled Medina, in the alleys of the souk and in Djemaa al-Fna.

We’d love to know – have you ever taken a photography holiday?  Where to?  What was your experience?

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Today’s guest post comes from Nicole and Gary Winchester of CultureAddict/HistoryNerd a most awesome blog from the Toronto couple.  You can also find them on Twitter @addict_nerd.  They are sharing about their trip to Ifrane in northern Morocco. Thanks so much for sharing this with my readers Nicole and Gary!

Even after being in Morocco for less than 10 hours, we could tell Ifrane was different.  Our first clue was the peaceful stretch of the otherwise mildly terrifying hour-and-a-half ‘grand-taxi’ drive that took us through the National Reserve just east of town.  It was cool, leafy green, rocky and reminded me of Highway 7 on the way to Ottawa, on a section just before the turnoff to my old cottage in Marmora.  I miss it, so when we weren’t cursing the lack of seatbelts and holding on to the ‘holy s**t’ handles made of nylon straps, I was just taking in the scenery.

Ifrane is generally unexpectedly leafy and green; in summer, refreshingly cool compared to the rest of Morocco; in winter, there’s sometimes snow and there’s skiing just outside of town.  That’s what might have inspired its French architects to make it look rather like a village in the Alps – or if you’ve never been to one, what you imagine one might look like.

Back to School

It’s also a college town, home to Al-Akhawayn University (http://www.aui.ma/), founded by King Hassan II and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.  Our friend – the reason we were in Morocco, and frankly, the only reason we’d come to Ifrane in the first place – is a professor at the school, one of many foreigners from around the world hired to teach the best and brightest of the country.  Obviously, a tour of the school was on the list.  From the rather upscale cars of the students to the pseudo-Swiss-style buildings neatly laid our with tiled walkways between, Al-Akhawayn gives the impression of a small, prestigious, and pricey private university with a student body that fits accordingly – and that’s pretty much what it is.

Given that travelers rarely have the time or the excuse to access places of learning, it was pretty excellent that we were able to visit.  Staff and students welcomed us warmly, and we got a tour of Volubilis from a professor with over 30 years experience in the region – not bad!  We were also fortunate enough to be welcomed into the university’s mosque, which is a replica of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech.  The assistant Imam was happy to show us around the spacious, peaceful rooms with intricate carvings.  Some people used the tranquility of the space to study, which made sense to me – besides, I’ve had a few exams that only divine intervention might have helped me pass.  Anyway, we were grateful to get an idea of what the larger mosque might be like.  Al-Akhawayn also helped Gary out when he got heat stroke – even in the mountains, that sun is no joke, you guys – and we’re also eternally grateful for that!

Stone Lion, Swampy Pond

Pretty much every Moroccan that’s been to Ifrane has a picture with this lion, so you should definitely stop by and get yours.  A prisoner carved the statue when Ifrane was used as a POW camp in World War II, commemorating the last wild Atlas lion, shot in the 1920s.  Kind of a sad story all around.  I wonder if someone’s made a movie of it.

Just a short walk from the lion and the main town square area, there’s a man-made pond called ‘Lac du Ifrane’, with walking paths around it – but there’s some issues with drainage, so the view is nice, but the smell is a little swampy.  You’ve been warned.

Food and Drink

As we were staying with our friend and his wife, we were treated to excellent Berber hospitality while at home, and generally good service when out in the restaurants.  Our friend Connell’s favorite place was Cafe la Paix (Av. de la Marché Verte, Ifrane), a large cafe with well-dressed waiters and a varied menu of soups, salads, pizzas, pastas and tagines.  We went there for a few lunches and had the pizzas and salads, finding both the service and food good for such a small town.

We also went out the Hotel des Perce Neige (Rue des Asphodeles, Ifrane) for a dinner with friends, and though the company was good and the restaurant was well-recommended, we had some difficulties and weren’t impressed.  Being vegetarian, I particularly had issues with getting something without meat or fish on it – even a salad.  If you’re heading there and have dietary needs, it would be ideal for you to speak French or Arabic to do the explaining yourself.  We did, however, try some of the excellent wines grown in the region.  Morocco does produce wine, and it’s not bad! I suggest checking some out.

Other Diversions

While we were in Ifrane, there were only a few souvenir shops, convenience stores, a pharmacy, a few other restaurants in the main town square area.  However, there’s also now a very well-reviewed luxury spa resort near the university – Hotel Michlifen Ifrane Suites & Spa.  That’s certain to appeal to wealthy day-trippers and parents off to visit their son or daughter for the weekend.  From the photos and the reviews, we’d love to visit ourselves – but the $230+ CDN/per night pricetag puts it a little beyond our reach.

A side trip we weren’t able to take was the short drive to Azrou to visit a local Berber carpet market about 1.5 km outside of town, held on Tuesdays.  We’d hoped to go carpet shopping in the hills and will make a point of doing so next time.

Ifrane is definitely quiet and off the beaten track, but doesn’t come more cheaply for all of that.  It’s worth seeing how Moroccans spend their vacations – if you can afford the time and money from yours to do so.

2009 Costs:
Grand Taxi from Meknes to Ifrane: $50 Dirham
Accommodations: Stayed w/friends
Average meal: $20-30 Dirhams per person

Have you been to Ifrane?  Would you like to visit?

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