BEFORE YOU GO
Searing political novel set in Fez during the final throes of the French protectorate
(with the GH like a French “r”)
“Too expensive!” (handy for the souks)
Comprehensive coverage of Fez and Volubilis
WHEN YOU'RE THERE
Five foods and drinks to try on your trip to Fez
TAGINE Named after the dish it’s (slow) cooked in; the subtle spicing should appeal to even the most culinarily cautious of kids. Several versions but best of all is lamb, prunes and almonds.
PASTILLA Originally made from pigeon but now more often chicken, this crispy filo-pastry pie is a deliciously unusual combination of sweet and savoury.
B’SARA Hearty street food – look out for the vendors dishing it up at the top of Talâa Kebira – this thick pea soup is usually served with a glug of olive oil and a sprinkle of cumin.
MINT TEA Very hot and very sweet (yet very refreshing), mint tea is an essential part of Moroccan life, making an appearance at everything from family gatherings to business transactions.
MSAMMEN Crispy square-shaped pancake made from flour and semolina and served for breakfast. Delicious drizzled with honey.
DO THIS (and don't do that)
A few handy pointers on Moroccan culture
• Engage in a bit of bartering – it’s part of everyday life in the souk and will be expected of you. Taken the right way, it’s also great fun!
• Dress appropriately, which in a Muslim country like Morocco means covering your shoulders and legs (down to the knee) and, for women in rural areas, your arms and lower legs, too.
• Brush up on your French – outside of hotels, English isn’t that widely spoken. Better still, learn a few basic Arabic words or phrases.
• Worry about getting lost in the Fez medina. You almost certainly will at some point, but Fassis (people from Fez) are always more than happy to point you in the right direction.
• Worry if your children are showered with affection. After the initial surprise, they’ll probably lap up all the attention.
• Eat or greet people with your left hand – it’s considered unclean.