Sheep’s head, anise flavoured snails and cinnamon are three things that immediately flood my memory when I think about Djemaa el Fna and Marrakech.
Djemaa el Fna is the main square in Marrakech’s medina quarter. Bustling and filled with merchants and performers all day and night, this area inspired the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity UNESCO project, where they identify cultural history such as music and performances, rather than physical buildings and places.
Djemaa el Fna in the daytime
During the day, stalls sell orange juice, dates and nuts. Performers wander around with poor Barbary apes on chains and snake charmers try to lure in tourists.
another shot of Djemaa el Fna in the daytime
There are a number of cafés facing the square.
doughnut seller and cafe
And then, before sunset, the snakes move out and the food carts start moving in.
To me, this is when Djemaa el Fna really comes alive. At night the square is filled with food stalls, hungry people, singers, drummers, dancers, storytellers, women doing tattoos with some dubious henna and people selling traditional medicines.
nuts and dried fruits
Like meat? Like cake?
Then you’ll love the Meat Cake.
Almost forgot… Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!
Pirate cake by andrew_mc_d on Flickr
Recently I was at a party that featured a (likely pricey) professionally made topsy-turvy cake. It was supposed to be a fantastic cake that would wow everyone.
Well, the top cake layer fell off inside the box and took the rest of the cake with it. They ended up having to prop the thing up with a box until it was time to cut the cake. If it had been dropped, then no one at the party would have expected the cake to survive without a scratch. But it wasn’t dropped at all; the cake was top heavy. AND the cake maker used dowels that were thinner than chopsticks. And there wasn’t even an effort made to stick a long dowel through the different cake layers, like I’ve seen on the many Food Network cake competition shows. Hell, the baker didn’t even use this trick of hollowing out part of the bottom layer – a trick that I found within a few seconds of doing a Google search!
Ridiculous. If it had been my cake, I probably would have called the bakery up and yelled at them.
I’m not even going to talk about how the cake tasted, because I think the way the cake was put together was done so badly that even the best tasting cake in the world couldn’t make up for the cake falling.
And if you’re wondering which bakery it was, I’m not going to name them in this post because I really don’t want to link to them anymore but if you’re that curious go look at my cupcake post where I talked about those that I did not enjoy.