There is no place in the world like The Western Kingdom. A sweeping combination of European, Arabic and African traditions stretch across coastal cities brimming with an unyielding moxie. Morocco is the adventurer’s dream, filled with extraordinary history, unparalleled craftsmanship and the richest colors any desert country could yield. No dinner will ever be more succulent than one served to you from a piping hot tagine. No morning more beautiful than the first time you hear the early sounds of an entire community in prayer. A bustling metropolis rest next to sleepy casbah along the Sahara’s edge. And the roads from the casbah trail off to a white stoned, Santorini like, beach front property that greets the Atlantic coast. The contrasts to the countries beautiful complexities are unparalleled. As an old Moroccan proverb describes it: “In Morocco never be surprised. If you see a donkey flying, just say Allah is capable of anything.” And of all the anythings, the following are a few ways Zenfulie has been inspired this month.
Spicing Things Up
The food of Morocco is exquisite. Centuries of mixing cultures have created some of the world’s most original, mouthwatering dishes from the most simplest of ingredients. A chicken, for instance, can defy all laws of poultry flavor when cooked in a tagine, with lemons, mint and onions and the right combination of healthful herbs.
In fact, if it’s been a minute since you’ve cooked with something other than Mrs. Dash Italian seasonings, try giving some of your favorite traditional dishes a Moroccan flair. Adding herbs like ginger and turmeric can provide hearty flavor and an infinite number of health benefits (compared to oregano which practically has nada). For an authentic combination, try finding some Ras El Hanout which means “best in the shop” — a combo of cardamom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, peppers, and turmeric. It’s a vitamin packed collection that’s used in soups, meats and vegetarian meals, and delivers a sweet, savory flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the senses. Go on. Join in with Zenfulie, and try something new this month.
Find Your Calm
The first time you walk into the Medina of Marrakesh, you’ll experience something just slightly above a sensory overload. In fact, it might be close to a borderline panic attack. The throngs of people move fast; it’s a pace mixed with feverish conversations, miscellaneous livestock and small time panhandlers waiting in the wings. Without the Arabic or French language at your disposal, communication can almost seem impossible. As will getting to your hotel for the first time since no cabs can enter the city, and you must rely on strangers, clear enunciation and your smile (and a few coins too).
But quickly all of that fades away. In Morocco, you learn that even in the chaos there is exceptional beauty and peace. The intricate, hand-carved patterns on a door show us how incredibly talented and capable we are. And around a shaded corner we find walls painted a brighter shade of blue you than ever knew existed. And I’m not exactly sure what’s in their tea, but I can’t recall ever being lulled into such a happy place by a drink that wasn’t alcoholic.
There is a reason Morocco has inspired so many home designs and novels and travel expeditions. Within all of its chaos, which really are intricacies you’ve yet to understand, is the most beautiful calm of the human experience. And if it can be found here, it can be found anywhere. This month, Zenfulie is setting out to look for the calm, no matter what the situations are. What about you?