The Blue City – Chefchaouen, Morocco – Visiting the Local Farmer's Market
Wherever I live, I always find myself visiting the local farmer’s market. I love eating and cooking with good fresh produce that is locally grown. I love supporting local farmers. When I’m traveling, it’s no different. If there’s a farmer’s market, I’m there!
We spent a morning at the local farmer’s market when we were in Chefchaouen, Morocco and it was one of those experiences that I will always remember. It is called the “Chefchaouen Market,” and it takes place three days a week. Check with your hotel or any local Moroccan in the city, and they will tell you where it is located. Everybody knows about this market. Visiting a market in Morocco versus let’s say, Ann Arbor, Michigan, or Union Square in Manhattan NYC, are two totally different market experiences. My eyes were opened, and my love for the Moroccan culture was expanded. It was a morning well spent.
Jimmy, The Foodie
Jimmy loves everything food related. You’d think his mom was into food or something. . . I am so thrilled that Jimmy has a passion for food, grocery shopping, and cooking, just like his mama. He even enjoys watching Chopped Junior with me on Food Network. I secretly hope that he chooses to become a chef one day! After we came home from Disneyland this past summer, we asked him if he’d rather go back to Disneyland again or go to the grocery store. He said, the grocery store, which we thought was hilarious. He LOVED Disneyland, but his love for grocery shopping, especially when they have the miniature shopping carts, is hard to beat. It’s good for me because grocery shopping is a much cheaper option than Disneyland anyway. So, the grocery store we shall go!
Jimmy had a blast at the local market in Chefchaouen, Morocco. He enjoyed walking around and seeing what everyone was selling. He enjoyed touching the produce to see if it was ripe. He smelled the fruits and vegetables as he went. My little chef! There were very few tourists there when we were visiting, so it felt like it was just us among the local Moroccans, which was really cool. You don’t get that type of intimate cultural experience every day.
The produce at the market in Chefchaouen was fabulous. Every item is picked at the perfect peak time, right when it is fully ripe, and then sold shortly after. I find a lot of the produce in America to be bad sometimes because they pick it so early to prevent spoilage during shipping. Produce is so much more enjoyable to eat when it is ripe and ready to be eaten! Mother nature knows what she is doing. I loved how the oranges still had their green leaves on them, recently picked from the tree. You can’t get much fresher than that. If you buy oranges with the leaves attached at Whole Foods, they are often times way more expensive than the oranges without leaves. The produce at this market was dirt cheap for American standards and fantastic quality. I wish I could have bought more.
This guy knows how to provide Chefchaouen with fresh meat. He sold chickens, live ones, that were ready to be killed and taken home for dinner. He had a bag of chickens that were all tied up so they couldn’t get away. When a customer wanted to purchase a chicken, they would point to which chicken they wanted, and then this man would kill that chicken right there in front of them. This kind of thing always takes me back a bit and makes my stomach turn, but then I have to remember where I am and that this is their normal. I love vacations where I am exposed to raw authentic culture and the daily real life of the people of the country that I am in. Seeing this guy kill and sell his chickens to support his family was just that.
Child’s Travel Backpack and Leash
This market got busy quickly! It was definitely the popular place to be early in the morning. I was so glad that I had this backpack with an attached leash on it for Jimmy to wear so that I could keep track of him. It is one of my favorite things as a travel mom. He loves being independent and walking on his own, so this allows him his independence while still staying near Nate and I. I would highly recommend it when traveling with young kids. Plus, it’s nice for Jimmy to take some responsibility and carry some of his things on his own. We have the yellow bumble bee one, but they make so many different cute designs that are all adorable, like a butterfly, dog, unicorn, and monkey, among several others.
My Travel Thoughts
It was amazing to be there and watch this whole market unfold step by step. We saw people setting up their stations, preparing to sell their produce. We saw men haggling and making deals. We saw teenagers helping out their parents and playing a role in their family. We saw children running around and playing together. We saw women so modestly dressed that they were completely covered from head to toe, sitting in the hot sun. I can’t even imagine how hot they were. We saw families interacting with neighbors and loved ones. This to me is what travel is all about. Yes, I love going to nice expensive resorts, lounging on a beach chair with a drink in hand and being waited on hand and foot, but THIS. This to me is more rewarding. Nothing beats being smack dab in the middle of a cultural experience and seeing it all play out before my eyes. I love traveling deeper and getting to know new cultures and how they spend their days. I love seeing the untouched, non-touristic side of different countries and the people that live there. It might not always be beautiful or pleasant, but life isn’t always pleasant, so it seems like a more accurate depiction of real life. It makes me a little better and opens up my mind and heart a little more. Authentic raw travel. That to me is the best way to go.
Have you been to Chefchaouen? Are you a farmer’s market lover like me? I want to hear from you below!
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