From the viewpoint in Toubkal National Park near Asni in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, we hiked down to one of Asni’s Berber villages. On the way into town we saw a little girl, about 4 years of age, who was quite shy, but did her mother’s bidding and had us follow her to her home where we were warmly greeted (in the Berber language, translated by our Berber guide from Imlil) by her mother and invited in for a traditional Berber breakfast. Afterwards we hiked back (about 15 minutes) to our resort, Kasbah Tamadot, and passed a number of women shepherds with flocks of sheep and goats that were heading south to open public lands where the flocks could graze. A pretty idyllic scene!
“The Amazigh (Berber) cuisine is a traditional cuisine with a varied history and influence of numerous flavours from distinct regions across North Africa. The traditional cuisine draws influences from Morocco’s Atlas mountains and heavily populated Berber cities and regions, as well as Algeria’s Berber cities and regions.” – Wilkipedia
On the breakfast tray were (pictured clockwise, from the lower left) a bowl of nuts and roasted chickpeas (garbonzo beans), amlou (see below), olive oil, green olives, honey, savory crackers, black olives and (center) homemade cheesey butter. Separately we were served a bread basket with two large rounds of homemade bread (flour and semolina). And, of course, there was freshly made mint tea, the national drink.
Amlou, a thick brown paste with a texture similar to organic peanut butter, is a Berber recipe that consists of a mixture of argan oil (grown in Morocco) and almonds and honey. Amlou has been likened to a sort of Moroccan nutella (made from Hazelnuts in the Piedmonte region of northern Italy).
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