Yes, there are packaged foods here in Morocco. You can buy reasonably priced packaged cookies and salty-puffed corn – things I am not usually all that attracted to here or in the US unless I’m on a road trip or it is shoved in my face. However, the majority of what I would consider convenience food is either very high-priced, of sub-par quality, or just plain unavailable on a regular basis.
So with great joy and a light heart I have discovered my new convenience foods:
-Just heat and serve: I buy a little bag of pre-soaked chickpeas from the woman who sits outside my alleyway. At a moments notice I can decide to make Hummus or Harira without all that over-night soaking business. I also get to see her warm smile.
-Home-shopping network: Sitting in my house I can sometimes here the fresh-produce prices if the wind carries the voices down my alleyway. Just this evening I heard a price for bananas I couldn’t refuse and walked out and back in under two minutes with my purchase.
-Eating-out: This almost always means that I am enjoying the food freshly prepared from scratch at a neighbor’s home.
-Frozen dinners: Left-overs from the big pot of soup and loaf of bread I made last week.
-Fresh daily: Two blocks away is “bread-street” where all the ladies sell the bread that came out of their ovens that day. At the end of my alley-way there is a man that sells fresh-eggs, and next to him the guy that sells fresh chickens—just point to the one you want and he’ll take care of everything else, come back in ten minutes for your plucked bird (a little gruesome, but no less so than what we try to ignore when we pick out meat at the grocery store).
-Forget something? Need sugar, milk, yoghurt? Junk food? Just head down to the local 7-Eleven…I mean l-Harnut.
Disclaimer: I am in a larger site than most volunteers, and may enjoy some conveniences that are not so available elsewhere. All the more appreciation for what I do have!
I am currently serving in Peace Corps, Morocco, as a small business developer working with artisans since September 2008. I have a Master of Fine Art, in studio art from Washington University in St. Louis.