North African Spice Tea

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BENNU
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North African Spice Tea

Post by BENNU »

:witch:
I had walked around the Medina in Marrakech for hours, getting deeper into the mace, found new quarters and finally managed to get lost on my last day, which is the best part of such a trip. Just like Islamic Cairo and the Khan, you know that sooner or later you will be safely back where you started, full of impressions and new memories.

There are lots of tourist traps in Marrakech and familiar tricks and approaches to which I am immune after all these years in Luxor. Berber pharmacies are like Egypt's “perfume palaces” authentic shops that can seat whole coaches of tourists and you are expected to be completely ignorant. They usually have real women from women's cooperatives pressing argan fruit in front of the tourist, reminding me of the little basins with a few papyrus stalks in the “papyrus museums” suggesting that it is all home made.

Though I chose a less romantic experience when buying spices and argan oil so that I would get the right quality and price, I certainly enjoyed the markets. On a few occasions, I was curious enough to be let into a gorgeous riad and accept “Moroccan hospitality = Moroccan whisky = mint- or Berber tea” when it was raining, knowing that I would be shown inferior carpets, but anytime I mentioned that I live in Egypt the conversation would be very pleasant. In these beautiful palace like buildings they had collections of Berber silver in which I would certainly have been interested had it not been for the hard working middle man who had tempted me to get inside in the first place.

I had decided how to spend my last Dirhams and of course I changed my mind when I found this corner of the souks and I carried brightly coloured, almost psychadelic felted bags, shawls and a hat from around the dyer's market that are absolutely perfect for my winter wardrobe. When I really needed a rest, I passed this little spice shop. It appeared local, but situated here it would attract tourists and they knew exactly how to treat them. They had the remaining items on my list so I stepped inside to buy a few fragrant souvenirs, open to let myself be persuaded. The owner arrived and put on some music. Most music I heard in Marrakech that was not played live would be Egyptian or Lebanese, and this mature gentleman played a song by Mohamed Abdel Wahab, my favorite composer. We started discussing classic Egyptian music, while he was brewing a pot of wonderfully fragrant ginseng tea and he found a CD with Oum Kalthoum that made it hard for me to leave. This is when I knew that I would not have to haggle too hard and I also knew that when you make tea this way, the second glass is better and an Oum Kalthoum song lasts longer than one pot of tea.

On this cold evening in my Copenhagen cave, I turned off the TV to listen to Oum Kalthoum. My home smelled of amber, musk and sandal wood from the little shop in the Medina, taking me back to that rainy day in Marrakech. I decided to make myself a pot of Moroccan ginseng spice tea and when I opened the cupboard in my kitchen, four bags of karkade looked at me. I like spiced karkade, so I mixed the two in a pot and let it simmer for a few minutes, and that is the only reason why I opened my computer to share this with you guys. I would of course rather offer you a glass of this delicious mix of flowers and spices brought back from Northern Africa, East and West. It is so good that I did not even add rum this time.

All the perfumes of Arabia are now sweetening this little place of mine while I dream of my home in Luxor. Karkade with a little Moroccon spice tea is highly recommended and hopefully addictive – that would give me a wonderful excuse to return.

:cuppa:
Last edited by BENNU on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:35 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: North African Spice Tea

Post by HEPZIBAH »

Drooling - for more than just the spiced tea...but then I think you may already realise this.
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Re: North African Spice Tea

Post by BENNU »

HEPZIBAH wrote:Drooling - for more than just the spiced tea...
Me too, you see, while I wrote this, the last few centimeters in my tea glass got cold. It tastes like a walk in the souk, I think that I'll try another glass with a little rum after all...

:bs:

o la la! :wi
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Re: North African Spice Tea

Post by Pammie »

How lovely to be able to paint such a picture with your words Bennu, thank you :cuppa:
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Re: North African Spice Tea

Post by Pammie »

How lovely to be able to paint such a picture with your words Bennu, thank you :cuppa:
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Re: North African Spice Tea

Post by BENNU »

:wi :P :wi :P :wi :P :wi :P :wi

:ks It is even better cold
- with a little vodka. :ks

:wi :P :wi :P :wi :P :wi :P :wi
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Re: North African Spice Tea

Post by Lisak »

Fabulous, I was there with you....and will be there myself in 10 days.
Sooooooo excited.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
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