Fact vs. Fiction: The Morocco Edition

So, as we’ve been traveling around Morocco, we’ve decided that there are a few myths (and a few true facts) about Morocco that we’d like to disprove and validate. So, see if you can tell fact from fiction.

1. Couscous comes with everything

Answer: Fiction. Couscous does not in fact, come under everything, let alone every tagine. In fact, up until this evening, the Baker had not had the opportunity to try Moroccan couscous. I’d be happy to blame this on her, except that she kept suggesting fantastic local watering holes at which we’ve been eating incredibly well. We can’t speak at all to what Moroccans eat at home, but, at local restaurants, expect a local variant of pita as your grain.

2. There are two types of dates: big and small

Answer: Fiction. If you’ve been reading our entries on Morocco you know the answer to this one. We’ve tried over 8 or 10 types of dates in our few days alone, the majority of which are grown in Morocco, (i.e. this does not include those varieties grown in Egypt or Tunisia which are prevalent as well.)

3. There is no alcohol drunk in public by locals in Morocco.

Answer: Fact. We’ve seen no locals drinking alcohol. So much so that when one man at a shop heard us speaking french, he asked us whether he could buy some wine from us.

4. Moroccans drink coffee and tea interchangeably

Answer: Fiction. So far, we’ve observed far more tea than coffee drinkers, and mostly that fun mint tea served in clear glasses.

5. Moroccan mint tea tends to be incredibly sweet

Answer: Fact. Unless we’ve asked for it to be served without sugar, Moroccan mint tea tends to be served incredibly sweetly. And, when we’ve asked for it to be served without sugar, the person we’ve ordered from tends to feel like they should wrap up 3 or four sugar chunks (think piece of sugar the size of 4-6 cubes) up in paper for us.

6. Food in Morocco is fresh.

Answer: Fact. Food in Morocco is generally cooked to order and, as a result, tends to be pretty well made.

7. It is easy to get food from a restaurant to take with you on a journey (a.k.a. what’s known in the U.S. as ‘takeout’.)

Answer: Fiction. Most of the food in Morocco, since it’s cooked to order, is made to be eaten on the plates available, and none of the local watering holes we’ve eaten at has had any kind of takeout containers. Just today we ended up buying a pottery tagine so that we could get ‘takeout’ to eat on the road.

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2 Responses to Fact vs. Fiction: The Morocco Edition

  1. kelamit says:

    I’ve been living in Morocco now for 2 1/2 years, and while I agree with most of your findings, #3 is not a fact. I live in the north of Morocco in a pretty religious city, but almost everyday I am in town, I see a few (local) drunk guys staggering around. I don’t go to bars or cafes, I see them walking on the street. Also, I see men buying alcohol in the local supermarket, getting in their car, opening their drink and driving away. Because there is such a large stigma to drinking in Morocco, many feel they have to do it in secret.

    • cho360 says:

      Good to know! We’ve only been traveling in southern Morocco, so I wonder if it’s different here…. Regardless, it’s fascinating to us to see such a strong set of different social norms from those that we’re used to.

      Today however, we had our first experience that was a bit like the one which you mentioned: a local man who appeared to be drunk walked over and pushed the baker, saying something unrecognizable in Arabic. She responded by moving away quickly, but we were all more than a little surprised by his behavior.

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