Monday, 27 August 2012

The Moroccan way or the highway

It's important to stay alert in Morocco, a lapse in concentration can have you backed into a tight corner at any moment. You never know when you are going to come across a police speed camera or check point, they love a good roadblock.

The same goes for any good Moroccan kitchen, beware the roadblock. You can sit for hours and talk about the cooking technique and ingredients of a single recipe until a point is reached where everyone is happy and in agreement. We have agreed on the origin of the recipe, where it has taken its influence from, how it should be cooked and exactly what ingredients and ratios are needed and that the traditional regional requirements have been fullfilled. 

"Excellent, seeing as we are all in concurrence, lets cook it!" 

Fusia begins to heat a pan of milk, the first step in the preparation of Mehelbiya, a classic Moroccan milk pudding. In goes a cup of corn flower, things are going smoothly so it's time for me to put my feet up for a few minutes until the next dish is ready to shoot. I haven't even reached the door before I hear a heated Arabic/French/English debate firing up in the kitchen between Fusia, Sophia and Jane, our food stylist. By the time I make it back the kitchen has descended into silence. Jane is still and looking confused, Sophia paces the room in frustration and Fusia stands victoriously in front of the simmering pot of milk slowly stirring in what looks to be a second cup of corn flower.

"I thought we'd agreed that one cup was the correct ratio for this recipe?" I asked.

"Yes, we did" Sophia blasted back at me. "Fusia said that was traditionally how it was done and that it should never be done any differently".

"What's the problem then?"

"Well apparently that's not the way Fusia does it".


Sophia gets blocked.

The girls celebrate their victory.

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