Are you man enough for this sandwich? Deep in the medina. Rabat, Morocco.

WFD came through Morocco and – of course –  demanded to eat as much authentic Moroccan food as possible.  Rabat has fantastic restaurants serving up great tagines and brochettes, though after a few days WFD demanded the real thing, the stuff that people eat while they’re on the go – the street / market food.

This monster of a sandwich demands many napkins and a big jaw to tackle. Can you dig it?

Off to the medina.

While walking through the Rabat medina – small in comparison to its cousins in Fes and Marrakesh, though infinitely easier to navigate – I saw WFD’s nose twitching and leading him towards a stall crowded with young men and women.  Stacks of fried eggs took up one edge of a small counter-space, flanked by roasted eggplant and peppers, raw onions, various spicy concoctions and a small mountain of fried fish fresh out of a deep pan of hot oil cooking away over a giant open flame.  All of the ingredients are piled inside of fresh traditional Moroccan bread and then gently mashed and handed over to the customer.

The customers walk up, order a sandwich and are chomping away within about a minute.  All for the price of 8 or 9 dirham (about $1).  Want more eggplant?  No problem.  Extra super spicy sauce?  Of course.  “Safe” fried fish on a 100 degree day?  These guys were frying fresh fish the entire time we watched the action – nothing sat for long.

So, of course, WFD had to have one.

Using my caveman French I ordered a sandwich with all of the fixings and we found a shady retreat for WFD to get down.  He jumped right in.

Perfect technique. Hesitation will only lead to a stained shirt.

He loved it.  Despite the incredible heat, he finished the sandwich with gusto and looked like a natural chowing down on it.

Remember the old Duran Duran video for “Hungry like the Wolf”? My father loves those guys and their style.

Notice that I said “natural” and not “like a local”.  Both my father and I dress to avoid any and all contact with the sun and tend to stick out in warm places like Morocco, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, etc.  We’ve had a great run traveling together and I am looking forward to many more adventures with him, and while we may not blend in with the locals we sure like to eat like them.

Happy adventures.

Camera note – We both set off with our camera bodies and only 50mm lenses.  I recently upgraded from a Canon 50mm 1.8 first edition to the second / current edition and am blown away by the improvement in lens function.  The old version – about twenty-five years old if I remember my serial number research – refuses to play well with modern AF and is best used mounted on a tripod and utilizing live view.  The new lens plays very well for being a “cheap” lens and I can’t recommend it enough.

If you don’t have a “nifty fifty”, you’re missing out.  Just remember that your DOF / depth of field will be razor thin at 1.8 (and your contrast may be a little lacking until around 2.8).

Anyways, have fun and carry less stuff when you’re out making photos.

Note to self – just because you can shoot at 1.8, you don’t need to all of the time.  Don’t utilize tricks too much or they will become crutches.

5 Comments

  1. […] brandishing as many instruments as possible, nor are they as numerous as the groups that populate Jemma el-Fnaa in […]

  2. That was an excellent sandwich , excellent company and a great place to take pictures!!

  3. WFD should have brought some sandwiches to the dome

    1. I am not sure how well the fried sardines travel! Ha!

      I hope that all is well over there. It’s great to hear from you. Maybe we can catch up during the holidays in December?

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