As much as I love getting a Try the World box from somewhere new so I learn all about the cuisine, it’s equally exciting to get a box from a country I’ve visited because it gives me an opportunity to reminisce and try making the cuisine I experienced for myself.
I just received my latest delivery, this one falling into the latter category and featuring items from Morocco!
We traveled to Morocco as part of my 30th birthday trip, and it was an adventure from start to finish. It had long been on my bucket list, and I spent months researching, booking and planning our itinerary for our time in Morocco as well as our day trip to southern Spain and our last few days in Portugal.
In addition to serving as an early birthday celebration, the trip marked my visiting 30 countries across four continents, which was a fun milestone.
If I could change anything about that trip, I would have been a little better organized with our reservations. This is saying something because I am INCREDIBLY organized. As such, I had worked out arrangements with our riad to have a driver pick us up at the airport in Marrakesh and drive us through the winding inner roads of the city for our first night’s stay rather than having to cobble together my basic French, since we don’t know Arabic, to try to secure a driver at the airport.
Despite my best planning efforts we had quite the snafu upon arrival because our driver didn’t show up. None of the other drivers knew English, French or the location of our riad (so they claimed), and the one driver who did speak a little English quickly recognized our predicament and attempted extortion. Beyond suggesting we pay an astronomical fee for him to get us where we needed to go, he went out of his way to start following us around and interrupting us as we approached other people for help, telling them not to help us. We stayed calm but it was a little alarming.
I had the name of the riad and a semblance of an address, but the riads are just built within the maze of the interior city walls so there’s no official address–just a general idea of what intersection they are near–you follow the signs along the walls from there.
The WiFi wasn’t working at the airport for us to look up the riad’s information ourselves on our phones (we never pay for international data since we can usually just hook up our phones to WiFi wherever we are) and I didn’t have the riad’s phone number in my paperwork so we could call and either find out where the driver was or how we could get there. I have no idea why I didn’t have a better address, phone number and directions in my paperwork. I’m usually really buttoned up about those details but was apparently a bit lax this time since I thought we had the driver to take care of us– lesson definitely learned!
It was a mini nightmare, but after exhausting all of our options we finally just headed outside and down the row of taxis until we lost the extortionist and found someone who looked nice. This guy didn’t know our riad either but he managed to look it up on his phone and offered us an overpriced but much appreciated ride.
We made it to the riad where the woman who greeted us was horrified to hear our story, and we ended up having a free meal and bottle of wine our last night with her to make up for our difficulty. It wasn’t entirely her fault the driver was flaky, but her apologies were much appreciated, and it was our first opportunity to have a homemade Moroccan meal.
Which brings me to my Try the World box!
This box was filled with eight items to make a variety of Moroccan dishes, including traditional Moroccan couscous, which we experienced in Morocco as chicken tagine. The tagine is actually the baking dish, which has a very unique shape, but there are several dishes made in it that they always described to us as chicken tagine, lamb tagine, etc.
Our hostess had prepared us a chicken tagine with olives and lemons over couscous. I now have the ingredients to make my own chicken tagine with raisins and onions over couscous–yum!
In addition my box has a few items to make orange blossom rice pudding, which sounds delicious, and mint tea. We drank quite a bit of hot mint tea while we were in Morocco and loved it. I’m usually more of a coffee person, but we always try to stick to local cuisine when we visit places because it’s an important part of the culture and always adds to our experience.
The box also has paprika crackers and anise cookies to accompany some of the dishes we can make with the other items. I like that these boxes always have a mix of meal ingredients as well as a few snack items. We can enjoy the snacks right away while we buy the other grocery items needed to make the more substantial meals.
Another great box and another great opportunity to drum up memories of our time in Morocco!