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October 11, 2008 Winter Provisions

I’ve decided to buy 5 pounds (2 kg, actually) of potatoes and onions every week for the next month or so. I don’t eat nearly that many, but I have no idea how long potato or onion season goes (onions, in particular, peaked a while ago), and I want to have enough to last me for the winter. (Fries and mashed potatoes, here I come.) I could just buy a 20-kilo sack and get it over with, but I’m not sure how I’d carry twenty kilograms – almost fifty pounds – of lumpy vegetables from souq to my house. Hence the incremental approach.

In souq, I was pleasantly surprised to run into Lalla Doctora, who I haven’t seen in a month or two. Apparently, she’s married to one of the vegetable vendors. She invited me into the back of their tent, where she shared a pomegranate with me. She and her husband were curious to know if pomegranates are sold in the US. I told her they were, but that I don’t think they grow there; I think they’re all imported. (I could be wrong – do pomegranates grow in California?) She asked if they were imported from Morocco, and I said they probably were. I added, though, that they’re both tastier and more plentiful here than in America. They’re also incredibly cheap here. Apples, bananas, and pomegranates are all only a few dirhams per kilo. That’s about 25 cents a pound. :)

There are reasons Morocco was once known as the breadbasket of Europe :)

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps