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December 27th, 2012

in the medina of Fez: making “trid”

making trid in the medina of Fez. ©Jeff Koehler




Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes

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October 17th, 2012

fresh mint tea


The immeasurable pleasures of fresh mint tea. This glass was sipped beside a second floor terrace window at Café des Épices, in the souqs of Marrakech. October 17, 2012. © Jeff Koehler.

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July 8th, 2012

Gourmet tasting in Spain for American students

A tasting of some of Spain’s finest products for a group of American students spending their summer in Barcelona. July 8, 2012.

Para picar…
1. aceitunas rellenas / stuffed Spanish green olives (Sevilla)
2. aceitunas arbequinas / Arbequina olives (Les Garrigues, Catalunya)
3. aceitunas negras de Aragón / Aragón black olives (Aragón)
4. almendras marconas / Spanish marcona almonds
5. patatas fritas / Spanish churrería-style potato chips
6. chicharrones / crunchy Iberian pork skin (Extremadura)
7. berberechos / preserved cockles (Galicia)

Pan con tomate con…
8. chusco / Galician long-loaf bread (Galicia)
9. aceite de oliva extra virgen de Núñez de Prado / Núñez de Prado’s extra-virgin olive oil (Baena, Andalucía)
10. quelitas / rustic Menorcan round crackers (Menorca)
11. queso manchego añejo / long-aged Manchego sheep cheese (La Mancha)
12. queso de Cabra de Ronda / cured goat cheese from Ronda (Andalucía)
13. dulce de membrillo / quince paste (Castilla)
14. jamón ibérico / dry-cured Iberian ham
15. jamón canario / naturally-smoked “sweet” ham (Canary Islands)
16. longaniza / dry-cured sausage (Catalunya)
17. chorizo ibérico / Spanish-style chorizo (Pamplona)
18. espárragos blancos / preserved white asparagus
19. anchoas / anchovies from the Sea of Cantabria (Cantabria)
20. bonito del norte en aceite de oliva / bonito del norte tuna in olive oil (Cantabria)

21. gazpacho / Andalusian chilled tomato “soup” (Andalucía)
22. ensaladilla rusa con picos / “Russian” potato salad with short breadsticks
23. croquetas de pollo / chicken croquettes
24. croquetas de verdura / vegetable croquettes
25. croquetas de bacalao / salt cod croquettes
26. tortilla de patatas y cebolla / Spanish potato and onion egg tortilla
27. empanada gallega de atún / Galician tuna stuffed “pie” (Galicia)

De postre…
28. melón / Spanish sweet melon
29. ciruelas / golden plums
30. queso de Burgos con miel de romero / fresh Burgos cheese with rosemary honey (Burgos)
31. coca de azúcar / spongy flatbread with sugar
32. magdalenas / country muffins (Castilla)

Y al final…
33. “rajoles” de chocolate artesanal de Enric Rovira / “tiles” of Enric Rovira artisanal chocolate (Barcelona)
34. bombolas de limón efervescente y chocolate negro / Enric Rovira’s dark chocolate-covered lemon effervescent (Barcelona)

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July 6th, 2012

making warka in Rabat

Just inside one of the entrances of Rabat’s medina is an open-air warka maker. He takes a handful of very pasty dough and smears it across the (very) hot metal plate with his hand before peeling it off in a single pull.

All photos © Jeff Koehler


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June 19th, 2009

Back in the kitchen

It doesn’t take long – a few days sometimes, a week at most – when I begin craving what I had been eating on a recent trip. From in and around Marrakech last week it was a simple finger “salad” of Moroccan Carrots with Cumin that I first begin to desire back in Barcelona.

For dinner the other night I cut the carrots into rounds, blanched them, and then began tinkering with the spices and oil and lemon juice to get that (in my mouth) just-right tang of cumin of the ones I ate at La Maison Arabe with retaining an underlying sweetness like the ones from Amanjena.

The came out well, though the next day, properly chilled, there were even better – and closer to the taste I had been aiming. I ate them for lunch as a lead into to a bowl of (equally chilled) gazpacho. Perfect for the warm summer day but also my mood.

I am making them again in a few days’ time to take to a dinner we’re attending, and will continue to hone the recipe. Then, perhaps, I will post it here.

In the meantime, a lamb tajine with caramelized onions from Terres d’Amanar, in the western flanks of the High Atlas, is the second craving. I’ve drafted out the recipe and am off to the market. It’ll be tomorrow’s lunch.

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April 28th, 2009

Mercado Municipal, Maputo, Mozambique #3


Squid in Maputo’s Mercado Municipal. April 2009 © Jeff Koehler.

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April 24th, 2009

Mercado Municipal, Maputo, Mozambique #1


In Maputo’s Mercado Municipal. April 2009 © Jeff Koehler.

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January 5th, 2009

back to the market


Alba breakfasting on a bikini and orange juice in the market. © Jeff Koehler

We returned home yesterday after a few weeks away and the first order of business this morning was to go to the market.

Maia was still sleeping so I took just Alba. We browsed the stalls to get an idea of what looked good and then ate bikinis (essentially toasted ham and cheese sandwiches) in the market’s café for breakfast. While we ate we talked about what sounded good for the next couple of meals. Then taking our time, and chatting with the stall owners, we bought the makings of a good soup for lunch plus, for dinner, a half dozen croquetas de bacalao (salt cod croquettes) made this morning by the old woman who sells salt cod. We bought some acelgas (chard) to sauté with chickpeas to go with the the croquetas, some pears, and a few kilos of clementinas, and then a dozen items to restock the larder – almonds, pine nuts, chorizo, cured jamón, a wedge of aged, nutty Manchego cheese, and the like. I have a weakness for olives and Alba kept me to just three varieties —vivid green ones from Campo Real, small arbequinas from Les Garrigues, and tender, almond shaped black ones from Aragón.

Strolling home in the cold winter sun, we talked about what we bought, but also what we forgot. Those items we missed don’t matter. We’ll be back in the market within a day or two.

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All text and images are ©Jeff Koehler 2007-2009 and cannot be used without his written permission.