During Ramadan there is a particular Moroccan sweet or cookie that is particularly popular, this dish is called Shebakia and it closely represents a pretzel to the western eye-view however it is disimilar to a pretzel in that it is sweet and is fried as opposed to bake. The dish is relatively easy to bake and is made from a simple combination of flour, margerine, oil, baking powder and water. A paste like dough is made from these ingredients and the resulting pretzelesque shape is then places in oil and fried until light brown and crispy. The pastry is then removed from the oil left to cool and then either sugary lemon syrup or honey is drizzled over the pastries. This means that the pastries are lovely and sticky and sweet when they are consumed.
Shebakia is a common example of street food which is very popular in Marrakech, in that in can be bought essentially in bitesize chunks and then consumed on the move. Shebakia is also however often bought and then taken home by its purchasers as a dessert dish after a main meal. Eaten in either way Shebakia is a delicious treat which has to be tried during any visit to Marrakech or Morocco in general. Our Riads are situated in the heart of the historic medina of Marrakech where one can find Shebakia at any of the numerous small pastry shops that are scattered all over the medina. So a stay with us means you can not only enjoy plentiful opportunities to try the wonderful Shebakia but plentiful opportunities to explore and marvel at all that Marrakech has to offer as Morocco’s premier tourist destination. Book a room today and you can share in these amazing experiences.
In the midst of Jemaa el Fna square every evening you can catch a group of locals in a circle doing something which at first looks rather peculiar, and on closer inspection still looks fairly peculiar, if perhaps somewhat more logical than previously. Most British people will be familiar with the fairground game of a hook-a-duck well in Marrakech they have hook-a-bottle, it doesn’t include a water feature or moving targets, but the basic concept is essentially the same. Ever evening one can observe a cluster of people around a collection of bottles using what resemble fishing rods with small hoops on the end of their string attempting to get the hoop around the neck of the bottles. The prize? the bottle of course.
Now this author only knows the prize was a bottle as they asked, finding the game nigh impossible to win. However apparently for the locals it is in fact fairly easy, particularly as the 10 Dirhams (about 80p) playing fee seems to ensure unlimited tries. Either way the game is certainly an enjoyable and authentic way to spend 5 minutes getting progressively more frustrated at a collection of bottles and the encouraging cheering or oooohing and aaahing of the locals certainly adds a very theatrical element to the activity. All in all the game of hook-a-bottle (apparently the locals don’t actually have a specific name for the game) is a most enjoyable part of any experience of Marrakech, as the saying goes ‘all are equal in hook-a-bottle’ the veracity of this saying may be questionable but the meaning rings true and it’s certainly an interesting and fun way to interact with the locals outside of some of the more conventional touristic settings. Our Riads are positioned in the heart of the historic medina in which one finds the square Jemaa el Fna allowing our clients to have easy access to all the wonderful sights and sounds the Medina has to offer whilst staying in luxury accommodation. Why not book a room now and you can come and sample the delights and wonders that Marrakec has to offer.
Fresh vegetables are a staple food in Marrakech. It is common to see farmers selling produce in the narrow streets of the medina, there are also specialist greengrocers like this one on the Rue Mouassine on the way to the Jemma al Fnaa Square from our Marrakech Riads.
There is nothing to compare to a Riad boutique hotel to experience the charm of old Marrakech and the genuine warmth of a Moroccan welcome. Reserve accommodation today and you can order a delicious meal to be waiting for you on arrival.
The Cafe Ben Youssef, Marrakech, Morocco opened in February 2010. Pictured to the right is the traditonal gift of warm milk and dates shared with friends and neighbours on the day of the opening. Look out for the colourful and impressive reclaimed entrance door.
The cafe is conveniently located near the Ben Youssef Mosque in the Central Medina just around the corner from Marrakech Riad Cinnamon. The cafe is open for lunch and throughout the afternoon serving tea, juices, and a variety of delicious simple foods including an ingenious ‘panini’ made with Marrakech medina bread and served hot from the grill.
As of June 2011 the Cafe was closed, we hope to see it reopen for the Autumn season.
Our Marrakech Riad hotels are centrally located in the Medina, the Souks and the best of Marrakech are on your doorstep. Reserve Accommodation today! If you have enjoyed Cafe Ben Youssef post a comment below and share your experience with others.