At the corner of an alley, once passed the Olive Souk, very close to the mosk on Jemaa El Fna Square…a smell of roasted lamb tickles your nostrils.
Oh You, vegeterian friends, move along!
MECHOUI AND TANGIA
This spot, wellknown as Mechoui Alley, will please only meat-eaters who love lamb. A few food stalls follow eachother and offer their Mechouis or their Tangias.
Tangia is a slow-cooked dish which is linked with Marrakech. It is generally prepared by men and simmers for 4-6 hours in a clay pot. It is brought to an oven, adjacent to a hammam where it will cook in the ashes from the fire or sometimes in an underground oven. The main ingredients are lamb or beef, chopped garlic, parsley, cilantro, mix of spices, cumin, saffron threads, preserved lemon, olive oil, rancid butter, water…
The mechoui is the name of the slow-roasted lamb over an open fire or on the embers in an underground oven.
The piece of meat is here served with a mix of salt and cumin. No fuss manners in these small gargotes where you will enjoy your meal on shared tables. No plates, no cutlery, a tray, a few pieces of bread and your natural grips will do the job. Actually eventually you lick your fingers! A mint tea, hot, full of foam and generously sweet, will excellently pair with the mechoui.
Many guests, tourists and locals, line up to access the roasted Grail! One of the stands seems more famous and attractive. Actually they all sell the same food.
Today I chose El Alami with his welcoming face and his smiling eyes.
For two persons they suggest 800 grams. The piece, which is not fat, is extracted from the oven and immadiately served. on the counter, a few sheeps’heads seem to look at you!
Oh You, sensitive and delicate souls, move along!
The fingers tear the meat. You burn your fingers. It is very warm, it is simple, natural, it is good, it is delicious if you appreciate!
You can also take your dish and bring it home if you wish to enjoy it in a more cosy, casual and elegant setting.
But it would be a pity to miss this typical and friendly atmosphere.
Street food is nowadays very trendy! Mechoui Alley is a good example, even if they have no idea of it. Street food must, not only make the passers-by salivate, but also be an open window on local culture, daily habits and customs of a country, of a Square, of a street.
Street food must promote human exchanges, offer more words, more looks, smiles and laughs.
In Moroco, in Marrakech, in the colouful maze of the Souks, this is something you never get tired of!