Chebakia is a sesame based cookie, hand folded into the shape of a flower and then fried and coated in honey. During the holy month of Ramadan, Chebakia is one of the many specialties that’s widely consumed throughout Morocco and Marrakech is no exception.
Chebakia isn’t only eaten because it’s delicious, for many Moroccans Chebakia is the first thing that is eaten as the days fast is broken as the sun sets. This is because many people believe that by breaking their fast with this sugary confectionery will expand their stomachs and allow them to eat more as the night progresses.
On Rue Derb Toureg, a five minute walk from Riad Dar Habiba I discover the patisserie ‘Tera isa’, where Chebakia is specially made during Ramadan. The owner of the shop whose name is Hassan allowed me to film the various kinds of confectioneries and of course the Chebakia. I learn that the demand for sweet dishes in Morocco extends further than just for their sugary content but rather it holds a deep cultural significance that runs through the fabric of the Moroccan families.
For I discover that the time-consuming process of making Chebakia is more often that not a family affair. As the cookie’s are folded into the shapes of flowers (usually a rose) I learn that this design symbolises the respect and love that the family hold for each other.
If your visit to Morocco doesn’t fall under the fascinating time of Ramadan, don’t worry! Chebakia is still eaten outside of the holy month on special occasions and patisserie’s such as the ‘Tera Isa’ may still be selling.