Casablanca - Morocco is a paradise for senses. Sounds attacking you from all sides, noise and powerful beats of chaabi music, omnipresent clackson and people cursing each other in traffic jam, extremely sweet desserts and spicy tajine, delicious, oriental perfume and the smell of freshly picked oranges and olives immersed in hot harissa sauce, colorful clothes and dirty, shabby buildings.
Casablanca – Morocco is a paradise for senses. Sounds attacking you from all sides, noise and powerful beats of chaabi music, omnipresent clackson and people cursing each other in traffic jam, extremely sweet desserts and spicy tajine, delicious, oriental perfume and the smell of freshly picked oranges and olives immersed in hot harissa sauce, colorful clothes and dirty, shabby buildings.
You can have a little bit of this mesmerizing mixture for yourself, pack in your suitcase and take it home. Here are my top Moroccan souvenirs which, no matter where I go, will always remind me about my second home, al-Maghrib.
Lovely, Moroccan slippers made of leather. They are so light and soft, perfect for hot summer. You’ll find them in all the colors of rainbow: all shades of red, pinkish and crimson, baby blue and navy, plain and richly decorated. Depending on the quality and store the prices will vary. Baboushe are available in many shoes shops, luxury stores and in the open-air market (“medina“). My suggestion for you is to get them in medina. The luxury shops usually double the price and usual shoes shops offer poor quality- the slippers are usually made of plastic. A reasonable price for a pair of them would be 60-150 DHS depending on the pattern and material and also the quantity. The more you buy the less you pay.
Morocco is a culinary paradise for olive-lovers, there is no doubt about that. You will have the realest olive feast here. Olives with harissa, olives with all spices, sliced, with seeds, seedless, black, red, green… Whatever you wish you will have here! What is more, olives are ridiculously cheap. For 10 DHS you will get a whole bag of those delicious veggies. Another good news is that vast majority of bars offer olives as a starter. Free of charge.
If you are a fan of cooking, spices should be the main point on your shopping list. Moroccan spices are quite inexpensive and very, very savory. The packed spices available in Europe are not even in one tenth as aromatic as Moroccan cinnamon or cumin. Sellers pack them either in newspapers, piece of paper or foil. Wandering in the streets of Morocco, except the smoke, gasoline and dirt, you will smell the spices 😉 What is interesting, there are special stores which sell spices only (“epicerie“).
For me, a fan of rose scent, it is an absolute must-have. I can’t imagine a day without using the rose water to clean my face and rose oil to remove my eye make-up. If you are a lady and your eyes are sensitive (like mine, I hardly ever find a gentle make-up remover) get yourself few bottles of this magical liquid. Rose oil works great as a moisturizer for the skin and helps to handle unruly hair and dry endings. Available in pharmacies, alimentation generale stores, some epiceries and supermarkets. The price of both is also a nice surprise. A big bottle of rose water will cost you less than 10 dirhams and the oil is around 20-30 dirhams. What do you want more?
Those are super long-lasting scents, usually without alcohol. You just rub a little amount of oil onto your skin and enjoy the smell throughout the day. There are numerous stores offering Arabic perfume. I divide them in 3 categories: luxurious, ordinary and low-cost.
Brands such an Arabian Oud or Swiss Arabian offer typically oriental scents in richly decorated bottles. If your budget is not too big and you want something less pricey go for the second type, those are “perfumeries” that you will find in many places in the whole country. A roll-on bottle which contains around 6-8ml of the charming perfume costs on average 20-50 dirhams. For the cheapest perfume ever I suggest you go on a hunt near mosques. You will find 3ml bottles of perfumes for 5-15 dirhams (Depending on the size, quality etc). Personally, I use Arabic perfumes since 2006, when I first smelled them. It was love at first smell:)
For me, Moroccans are culinary masters when it comes to baking. You will find a whole range of different cookies. If you like almonds you’ll love their pastries. The typical, Moroccan ones are: kaab ghazl, shabakya, briwat and many more. Kaab ghazl is a moon-shaped almond cookie. It is ridiculously tasty! If you like marzipan, go for it. Unfortunately, it is among the most expensive cookies in the whole Maghreb. Shabakya is a specialty baked during the holy month of Ramadhan, since it is very sweet and caloric. However, you can find it in some patisseries during the whole year.
Walking down the streets of Morocco (especially Fes, Tangier) you will see people (especially ladies) wearing those strange, long dresses with hoods. They are called djellabas and are traditional, Moroccan dresses. I fell in love with them and I have my own:) however, many people feel ashamed to wear them. No idea why, they are so cute!
Note that those are my private must-haves. I am trying to be as objective as possible but everyone can have different taste. Apart from all the things listed above Morocco is a paradise for designer-brands lovers who can’t afford to buy an original designer t-shirt or shoes. In Morocco you’ll find thousands of well-done fakes. Be aware, it is not legal to bring fakes to EU (especially France and Italy have strict laws about that).
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