Photo by Omar Chennafi
Fes Medina Food Markets
To immerse yourself in the life of a Moroccan housewife, take a stroll through the fresh-produce market of R’cif, which winds through the lower part of the Fes medina. Plan to arrive by 10 a.m. when the market really gets going (by 11:30 a.m., it’s packed). In addition to browsing stalls of plump fruit and vegetables from farms in the Middle Atlas, you can snack here, too: hot trid—a gossamer-thin pastry baked over a rounded clay pot or “egg”—and irresistible meloui (multiple layers of dough that become soft and flaky as they are cooked) stuffed with spiced onions. Don't miss seeing the infamously grumpy camel butcher whose signage is a real camel's head hanging from a hook. Around lunchtime, mastermind your way deep into the souks to find the Achabine area, where the city’s best street food vendors ply their trade. The dishes served up here built this city and continue to do so every lunchtime: comforting bessara (split-pea or broad-bean soup) and harira (a Moroccan staple of chickpeas, lentils, and lamb broth); sardines doused in charmoula and deep-fried until crunchy; hard-boiled eggs dipped in cumin. Come in the evening if you crave bite-sized brochettes of tender lamb and spiced liver.
By Tara Stevens, AFAR Local Expert
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Momo's Medina - Man with a Fes
While we felt blessed throughout our time in Morocco, our Fes experience would be driven by divine providence, guiding us into not just a city, but into a relationship with a man that held it deep in his heart… “I know a guy!” That’s all we needed to hear from our I Tour Morocco guide, Hafid. He had taken great care of us for hundreds of kilometers and had one last suggestion for our tour in Fes. A phone call and few minutes later and we had Mohammed Bouftila, an internationally acclaimed Medina guide, climbing into the front seat. To get the most from a Medina tour, particularly in a mazed Medina so rich in culture, history and artisans, find a guide. The Medina is crammed with stories and Momo started with one from his childhood, growing up in a nearby riad where his mother and sister still live. He had his favorite routes and off-the-map places. Some of the most incredible locations involved access into abandoned riads and palaces that were either in the process of renovation or looking for a sponsor. The Medina environment continues to be a communal living effort. Neighbors share walls, bakers, activities, religion and family life. It has been this way for a millennia and Momo loves to demonstrate how these traditions carry forward. Any credentialed guide in the Medina can provide similar services, but by the end of our time in Fes, we felt part of Momo’s family and world. Find Momo via email - email@example.com
By Jay Rymeski, AFAR Local Expert
Local Experience - Home Cooked Meal on tour with Intrepid Travel
On Intrepid Travel's "Best of Morocco" - dinner in the old Medina where a local family has converted their dining and living areas into a private restaurant.There were at least 15 different cold and warm appetizers – stewed chili’s, white bean, cold lentils, warm lemon potatoes, brown beans, warm sugared carrots, pickled beets, and on it went to the main course of b'stilla (or pigeon pie).
By Chloe OBrien
Piles of Food | Walking through the Old Medina in Fez
Every corner you turn in the Fez Medina is shop after shop of dates, figs, nuts, flowers, fresh herbs, produce, eggs and spices. Have a local city guide take you through the maze of narrow ally's to maximize your experience. On Intrepid Travel's "Best of Morocco" this local city tour is included on the itinerary.
By Chloe OBrien