camel meat in morocco?
I'll be travelling to Morocco (from Canada). I see that camel meat is sometimes served, and I'm curious about it. My questions are:
1) is it easy to come across, or where should I look to find it?
2) what's the best camel dish? what preparations do you recommend?
PS - any other camel/morocco food tips are welcome.
I had camel a few times in SA and the UAE. It was unremarkable. I had it as a burger and as a stew. I had horsemeat in Italy and it seemed about the same albeit a little greasy.
Camel is hard to come by in Morocco and I never found it anywhere that I have been. I also live there and have for quite some time. I noticed lately that there is a Halal market in my home town (I am back for the holidays until March when hubby will be settled in Spain for 2 yrs) which carries frozen camel meat. Very difficult to find in Morocco and nearly everything having to do with camel is brought up from the Western Sahara, not good travelling conditions for meat. Camel fat mixed with herbs is widely used medicinally though one must wait until a seller comes up from there to buy.
re: Hajar A
Nonsense. Camel meat is readily available in the souks of all the major cities-and often in the smaller towns as well. They're sold by specialist butchers who are identifiable (to those who cannot read Arabic) by a sign that includes an illustration of a camel. There is one in Fes right on the Talaa Kebira (the main street through the medina) on the right hand side about 5 minutes walk going away from the Bab Boujeloud. If I remember correctly, the sign has a silhouette rather like that of the cigarettes. In Meknes, there are two camel butchers side by side in the area of the medersa located in the heart of the medina-whose name escapes me at the moment. The one closer to the corner is identifiable bya large stuffed camel. (For this matter, horse meat is also easy to come by-specially in Rabat and the big markets of Casablanca-just as it is in Barcelona (at La boqueria, I was just there and the stall is still there), in Mantova, in Belgium in fact in almost all big cities of continental Europe.) This bit about the meat of diseased and exhausted animals being sold is pure gossip-mongering: one glance at the sheer glistening freshness and color of the meat being sold at these specialists confirms the quality of the product. Whole haunches are sold, or could be cut into smaller bits for stewing (in tagines/grdas) or for kababs. Or the meat could be ground right there by the butcher in a old-fashioned meat grinder to make keftas. For the latter, the meat is weighed out first, then a large hunk (too large perhaps for our modern taste) of pure white fat (often from the hump: this is a much valorized type of fat) is added to it in the grinder, along with onions, garlic perhaps, paprika (felfia), fresh mint and cilantro. This makes the most extraordinarily delicious hamburgers-specially if carefully prepared (by one of the nearby grill-specialists perhaps) on the charcoal grill (camel meat is not gamey at all-and tastes like superior beef).. "Petals" of camel fat are also on display-this is much valued for medicinal purposes as the above poster discussed, but used to make the wonderful Moroccan specialty called khlii (also sp khelea, khlea) which is a confit of cured (lamb, cow or camel) meat. Absolutely pristine, vividly-fresh hearts and livers, kidney and other organ meats are also on display and there for all to examine. These are skewered to make that wonderful specialty called boulfaf. Now what I couldn't find at all was gazelle meat, which I know is used in the cuisine of parts of the south. And I really thought that it would be easier to come by game birds (specially since it is now winter) in the souks of the big cities-specially since partridge, hare etc are so cheap and so easy to come by in places like Barcelona. Maybe I didn't look hard enough.
When visiting a souk in Fez last summer,a little stand was pointed out by our guide, that they sell camel meat. He also said it was not very popular and hard to find in restaurants.
I never noticed it on menus when I was there but I did see huge camel heads with the neck attached hanging in the meat markets all around Morocco... so someone's eating it!!!