SSoP Podcast Episode 07 — Morocco: Couscous, Camels, and the Kasbah

SSoP Podcast Episode 07 — Morocco: Couscous, Camels, and the Kasbah

Monday, 2 March, 2020

Morocco can seem like something conjured from a dream. The twisty alleys of its old-town medinas hold secrets around every corner. Its markets are infused with the aroma of spices and the lilting melodies of musicians, with jewel-toned leather and scarves and rugs as far as the eye can see.

Morocco’s history is just as colorful. Nomadic peoples like the Berbers and the Tuareg (a.k.a., the Blue People) were roaming and riding the Sahara desert for centuries. The cities — Tangier and Casablanca, Marrakech and Fez — were well-known havens in and around the World Wars for secret agents, ambitious businessmen, and glamorous movie stars.

Providing a background for all of this is Morocco’s breathtaking scenery: the rugged beauty of the Atlas mountains, the flowing dunes of the Sahara, the sparkling beaches on the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and the fragrant cedar forests.

In this episode, we discuss books that transported us to Morocco, including two very different — but equally moving — memoirs of personal adventures; a historical novel featuring two strong heroines and a mysterious amulet; a poignant look at the fading art of Moroccan storytelling; and a contemporary thriller about a traveler’s worst nightmare.

We also talk Moroccan food and travel with Amanda Ponzio Mootaki, a.k.a., MarocMama, the founder of the MarocMama website and Marrakech Food Tours.

Books, Transcript, and More

For a complete roundup of all the books we recommend, plus a full transcript and the other cool stuff we talked about (Did someone say Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association?!), visit the Episode 07 show notes.


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Top image courtesy of Sergey Pesterev.

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We're usually more interested in what's inside a book's covers, but volumes bound in Morocco leather are some of the most beautiful in the world. And it all starts at the Choara Tannery in Fez, Morocco.
Twisty alleys, boisterous markets, trained monkeys, exotic spices, and world-class leather — Morocco feels both magical and mysterious. This fragrant recipe serves Moroccan intrigue at your table.
This colorful salad combines sweet oranges, cool fennel and mint, and salty olives for a taste that's bold and a little exotic. It's a tribute to 'Tangerine,' a taut noir thriller set in 1950s Tangier, Morocco.
Have you ever daydreamed about riding a camel across the Sahara with the wind in your hair? Or strolling through the market in the old town of Marrakech? These six books will take you there asap, no passport required.
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Your weekend plan has just been sorted: Read this page-turning, satisfying thriller set in Morocco, then pop a big bowl of popcorn and snuggle in to watch Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman smolder in 'Casablanca.'

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