During your visit to the red city of Marrakech, one thing you cannot afford to miss are the olive sellers of the central square. You will find them lined up in the Northern reaches of Jemaa al-Fnaa as the square and the famous Souk district connect with one another.
It’s important to note that Morocco is a country of regional delicacies. Between Essaouria and Agadir, Argan trees paint the landscape a luscious green and this is where the nutty and intensely flavoured Argan oil originates from. The same notion applies to dried fruits and dates, these sacred Moroccan staples are at their most delicious when grown in the deep Saharan South, from the regions of Goulmima to Zagora and the Draa Valley.
So whereas you might have to travel a little way to sample the freshest portions of oils and dates, some of the finest Moroccan olives are at your doorstep. Hand-picked from the groves of the Atlas region, the olives that grow around Marrakech do so over all four seasons and many Moroccans agree that the olives that find their way to the market stalls of the red city are of some of the highest calibre in the country.
Olives are picked at various stages of ripening to determine their colour and subsequent flavour and texture. After this is complete the olives can be marinaded using a host of Moroccan herbs to create an array of different flavours.
Your senses will be overloaded as you approach the olive corner of Jemaa al-Fnaa. An intense aroma of oils and spice encompasses the area in which you can find this everyday Moroccan staple.
For around 5 Dirham’s (£0.39) you can purchase an entire bag of olives, which can perhaps best be enjoyed when added to a Moroccan tajine where the hearty and rich taste of the olives make them the perfect addition to a dish of meat or grilled vegetables. The central square of Jemaa al-Fnaa is but a 10 minute stroll from the Riad Papillon, in the heart of the Marrakech Medina.