Over there, it’s as common as beef in other countries.

Our Japanese-language writer Ikuna Kamezawa is not one to shy away from new things, particularly if it involves traveling to other countries and immersing herself in local culture.

Ikuna’s latest adventure brought her to the port city of Casablanca in Morocco, where the markets are so refreshingly different from Japan’s that she wished she could have stayed a few days longer.

▼ Goods haphazardly scattered around the famous open-air market of
Quartier Habbous reminded her that she was a long way from home.

▼ It was a shopper’s paradise, filled with all manner of antique metalware…

▼ …and fabrics styled into local fashion.

▼ But as it was close to lunchtime,
Ikuna ventured into the meat section of Habbous for a quick bite.

▼ Other than pork, almost every cut of meat you can think of can be found here.

Butchers can be seen carving away at carcasses with heavy curved knives, separating brains, hooves, offal, and parts of animals rarely seen in Japanese markets. Ikuna was not willing to waste her precious tummy space on ordinary beef or chicken though. She was here for a local delicacy: camel meat.

▼ Reading about it is one thing,
but finding a severed camel head staring at you is quite another.

Our brave reporter purchased a small portion of camel meat and sausage for 32 dirham (US$3.30) and brought it over to a nearby restaurant where they prepared it in the local style. After 10 minutes of waiting, her dish was finally served.

▼ The cooks decided to mince up the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Truth be told, the pieces of meat did not look particularly appetizing, but Ikuna suspected it was minced up like that so that spices could seep in and cover any strong odors. Perhaps the language barrier was to blame, as the restaurant also served her hard Moroccan bread and a grilled tomato-onion dish without her asking for it.

▼ Together with a can of Coca-Cola, the total bill came up to 60 dirham.

▼ Tearing off a bit of bread to go with a piece,
Ikuna tried camel meat for the first time in her life.

“Hmm?” Her eyes widened in surprise. Despite having a slightly gamey taste to it, the odor was nowhere near those of lamb or horse meat. Perhaps mincing it was indeed the best way to prepare camel meat. Who cares about how it looked? It was tender, savory, flavorful, and oh so delicious!

▼ The sausages were just as juicy and yummy, too.

If there was one complaint to be had, it was that camel meat’s texture did not differ that much from beef, as Ikuna was hoping it tasted a little more “exotic” than what she was used to. Looks like our intrepid reporter has already outgrown what Japan can offer her.

Nevertheless, this culinary trip to Morocco remains her most adventurous and certainly most exciting yet, right behind the time when she spent 11 hours with three other strangers in a sleeper train.

Images: ©SoraNews24
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