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Make sure that there is market day when you stop to have a break. Even for 20 minutes or less, it is worth it.
We were traveling from Marrakesh to the Atlas mountains to hike for a few days. We made a short break in Demnate and luckily parked next to the souk (market). A good chance to see, smell, buy and take pictures in that rural area. I got a bit stressed at the beginning to find the right balance between having “good” pictures and enjoying the scenery, the people and the produce. Then I calmed down, made less photos and was able to enjoy the moment.
Despite the intensive sun it was not hot, trees and houses gave some shade. Flies were not really present, so the openly hanging meat looked appetizing. Funny enough a vendor of remote controls (don’t ask me) was the only one who poured some water over his merchandise. They had to look fresh apparently in midst of the competition with the colorful surrounding.
There was an abundance of seasonal fruits & vegetables: oranges, mandarins, onion, melon, watermelon, eggplants and more. The colors so bright … just a pleasure to see this. Hard to imagine that such produce do not taste great.
Indeed it was not the right time to buy eggplants which you cannot eat on the go – though I never tried. Mandarins are the right stuff I thought. I got a kilogram for about 50 Euro cents, the attached leaves proved their freshness. Immediately I peeled one and an infusion of mandarin essence rose to my nose, absolutely beautiful, absolute aroma therapy! I cannot remember the last time when I had such an experience. And then the taste: very different to the ones I buy in German super markets, just a different world, many layers of taste not just sweet or sour, a beautiful balance. And we had to move on, the aroma filled the car.
Even as it was only a quarter of an hour or so, it was worth the souk visit. This quick stop at the souk gave me one or two nice photos and wonderful mandarins, very satisfying!
All in all: stop here if you are on the road and get some great tasting fresh produce