Oye, lemme get a Kafta Tajine, Coke and some pepper sauce, and allyuh put some pepper in the god damn tajine nah, like what ah have to do to get some peppah in meh food? Allah, ent putting none for me in there yuh know.
This is what I would like to say to a Marrakhi, but there are some fundamental issues with that. Firstly, they obviously wouldn’t understand a thing I said. Secondly, my meagre attempts at French comes out like this …
Bonjour, je veux un tajine de Kafta, un Coca, et Harissa, s’il vous plaît. Aussi peut-on faire mon Kafta de piments supplémentaires en eux?
Impossibly polite and somewhat retarded, but the combination of my poor french, and my nice gold and black Djellaba seems to always bring a smile to the impossibly friendly Marrakhis. The end result has always been what I wanted, which is a steaming Tajine, bread, coke and pepper sauce.
Another one of the ridiculous inventive foods I’ve had here is something called Pastella (pronounced Baah-stay-la), it took me about 400 attempts to say it properly. This is to Moroccans, what Curry Duck is to Trinidadians, in that if you tell anyone that you’re currying a duck home, they will somehow magically appear at your house to lime and hang out. Moroccans can never, EVER get enough of Pastella, especially Pigeon Pastella. Now my friends in Morocco, have attempted to get me to eat this Pigeon Pastella, but I have explained repeatedly that in Trinidad, a Pigeon is like a flying cesspit and no one ever eats Pigeon in Trinidad. They are all confused by this, but graciously accept my rationale.
I think we should have a couple Moroccans on Independence Square for all those Pigeons we have in Trinidad. After a couple months, they will get rich, because Trinidadians will never be able to resist Pastella and we won’t have as many Pigeons flying around and shitting on cars.
For the uninitiated, the brown lines on the Pastella is powdered Cinnamon and the white background is Icing Sugar. Pastella, is a traditionally a semisweet pigeon pie in paper-thin pastry, however my Pastella de Poulet is made with chicken, raisins, garlic and spices. In Trinidad, we have our own version of Pastella, which is called “Pastelle”, but is made with Cornmeal and is more South American in nature, but also contains raisins, nuts and ground meat. Now this combination of sickly sweet with meats and salt would normally make me a bit nauseous, but it is remarkably addictive and the flavour sensation is really out of this world. Pastella has now made my daily Moroccan rotation with Harira and Tajine de Kafta.
Dinner in the Djemma (cause after 4 nights, you get your frequent Djemma el Fna card, become a resident Marrakhi and everyone seems to recognize my Gold and Black Djellaba) consisted of another couple bowls of Harira (I have my own spoon and bowl now) and some fried seafood.
Now I don’t actually know what type of seafood I had, since it could have been a fried tire they pulled from the sea, but it was good … not great … just good. Houssam explained that the best seafood naturally came from Essaouira, which is the coastal town that he lived in. I did however get the fresh chillies with my meal and the now ubiquitous Harissa.
After dinner, it was time to go fishing for Soda in the Djemma.
That would be Mohammed and Houssam fishing for Sodas. The premise of this game is that you get the little round doughnut around the top of the bottle, and if you do, then you get the soda. I tried for 10 minutes and I got nothing except a little frustrated, to which I gently tapped a bottle of soda with my foot.