One of the many joys of traveling is discovering what is indigenous to a place and how they use their natural resources. Morocco has a wealth of this and, they have, over the centuries, crafted a huge market for herbs, spices, lotions and potions, woven rugs, dyed silks and wools, baskets, leather goods, silver and gold and so much else that it blows your mind! We fell in love with it all and especially the people who take pride in what they produce. Clockwise from top left – Moroccan Mint Tea. Glass and silver decanters for Rose Water (traditionally used to freshen the hands of house guests before they enter your home). The food is ridiculously good in Morocco and they use so many wonderful spices. We missed the vegetable tagines, couscous and other dishes so much that we hunted down a good cookbook to learn some of the dishes we grew to love. Tagine cooking is essentially from the Berber regions of North Africa and the name comes from the clay dishware used to make the dishes. Book available here. Glass and silver mint tea glasses. Saffron – very prolific in Morocco and reasonably priced. Dried roses – Moroccans use roses to scent themselves and their homes. We couldn’t believe how fragrant it was, so had to bring some to our home. Black Soap – used in the Hamams. Hamams are steam baths and used weekly as part of the religious cleansing ritual. We were lucky enough to have two Hamams while we were there and left each one swearing that we need to pamper ourselves more often. The treatment involves laying in a gorgeous steam room (picture the most beautiful tile and stone work you can imagine) being cleansed with the black soap, drenched in buckets of warm water followed by an exfoliation. You are then moisturized with Argan Oil. Since it was our honeymoon, we followed our treatments with massages. Heaven on earth! I’m now spoiled for life.
Since remodeling our bathroom, we’ve been on the hunt for the perfect light fixture for above the sink. One of the Souks (market stall) in the Medina in Marrakech came through for us! Hand forged and made by one of the locals who we got to meet. Doesn’t get much better than that.
A Kilim Berber rug bought in the Medina in Marrakech and now proudly living in our dining room. Hand dyed with natural dyes and hand made – perfectly imperfect.
Argan trees grow all over Morocco and produce a nut that has been used for thousands of years in cooking. The nut is beaten by hand to reveal the inner nut which is then ground into an oil. This process is handled by women in co-operatives and it was discovered that their hands never aged and always stayed soft and smooth. Therefore, more recently, Argan Oil is being produced for cosmetic use too and sold all over the world. I have been a fan of Argan Oil for a long time, so couldn’t wait to get my hands on some in it’s native land. Josie Maran has a great Argan Oil here. Use it on your hair, nails or skin. It’s amazing!
Stay tuned for more Morocco posts! I have to share with you some of the places we visited! It is such an incredibly beautiful country and we can’t wait to go back to discover more. Have you been? I’d love to hear from you!