Trail Mix: A Food Journey in the High Atlas

Trail Mix: A Food Journey in the High Atlas

soon as we sit down, tea is served. The dance is the same in
every place we visit on the trail. Someone brings in a tray with a
heavy silver pot, small glasses and some extra sugar – drinking
unsweetened tea is unheard of in Morocco. The tea is skilfully
poured from a height, creating a foamy head on the steaming brew.
We can now enjoy the country’s national drink, whiskey berbère,
while waiting for the food to arrive.

The three-day trek from Imlil to Setti Fadma takes us through
mountain passes, valleys and small villages, including Taccheddirt,
the loftiest village in the High Atlas Mountains and where we spend
our first night. While the trail seems somewhat remote and
desolate, especially in cold November, there are gîtes d’étape
(cottage stopover), small mountain refuges and people’s houses
where you can take a break, have something to eat and drink
numerous glasses of sweet mint tea.

For dinner, tajine is usually the only option in the mountains.
Served with khubz (traditional bread baked in a clay oven) and
fragrant with spices (cumin, harissa and ras-el-hanout) it’s a
perfect meal after a strenuous day of walking. Breakfast is sweet
and simple: more bread or local pancakes (msemen), homemade jams,
honey, butter and eggs. In Imlil, there are street-food stalls,
serving warming harira (hearty soup made with lentils, chickpeas,
tomatoes and sometimes lamb) and simple sandwiches filled with
grilled meat, egg and vegetables. Higher up in the mountains, we
feast on salade marocaine (typically made with finely diced
tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and herbs) and Berber omelette,
cooked with tomatoes.

Savouring the stunning views from Tizi n’ Tamatert pass with a
glass of hot tea isn hand was one of my favourite Moroccan

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