Snapshots From Morocco: Market Food in Marrakech

The Market at Dusk

The calm before the storm, just before the crowds begin packing in.

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and Hayley Daen

The main souk, Jemaa al Fnaa, in Marrakech is the largest market in Morocco. At nearly 1,000 years old, it's located in the medina, the maze-like walled central section that forms the old city. A vast courtyard that by day houses pedestrian walkways, snake charmers, magicians, water vendors, doodad dealers, dancers and all other manner of street performers surrounded by restaurants and cafés, by night it becomes a bustling world of vendors, hawkers, and full-on restaurants serving food and drink ranging from casual snacks to complete meals. Watching the vendors wheeling in their carts and transforming the square each day in a matter of minutes is truly mindblowing.

Both myself and our intern Hayley have been lucky enough to have visited Marrakech recently. Of course, we ate everything we possibly could and documented most of it.

The market gets divided up into sections, with each section serving the same kind of food. So walk down one aisle and you'll find your choice of dried fruits and nuts, while another will lead you to sheep, chicken and vegetable tagines, while yet another gets you to stalls selling sausages and skewers cooked over charcoal fires, or large slices of fatty braised camel hump to be scooped up with soft bread.