Jewish Heritage Tours With A Gourmet Culinary Experience

Morocco – An Overview

Morocco’s serene landscapes – from its Mediterranean and North Atlantic coasts to its Rif and High Atlas mountain ranges – combine with the famed sunrises and sunsets of its Sahara desert, and its urban centres, to create an exotic mystique that is the dream of all travellers. This lyricism, ably reflected in its hand woven carpets and the deep hues of its dyes and pottery, is highlighted by echoes from muezzins, calling to prayer. A short ferry ride from Gibraltar, or from Spain’s mainland, it is culturally worlds away. The architecture of Casablanca, a commercial cosmopolitan city, reflects its French colonial history. Fez, meanwhile, floats on a magic carpet of medieval memories, recalling the adventures of its Berber population and hosting the country’s largest networks of street markets, known as souks.

Its history as a great spiritual and intellectual centre has left it heir to an inordinately large number of beautiful monuments. Close by, Meknes boasts an organized collection of fortified walls and architectural marvels. The city of Tangier, on the other hand, stands out as a modern and accessible summer resort, and the souvenir of its exclusivity as a destination for the jet set of the Fifties and Sixties remains.. Moroccco’s chic Red City, Marrakesh, named after the red ochre used to paint its houses, is famous for the marvellous ruins of El Badi palace, and the open space in the city’s centre, where all kinds of musicians, story tellers and showpeople entertain onlookers in a traditional manner that has survived throughout the centuries.

Most tours are bespoke, suiting your taste and budget. Browse example itineraries, and our planned tours for 2016.

Golf & Morocco Tour

10 Day Costa del Sol & Gibraltar Golf Jewish Heritage Tour

Southern Spain & Morocco Tour

Southern Spain and Morocco Tour

Spain, Portugal & Morocco Tour

Morocco - From A Jewish Perspective

Jewish communities have flourished in Morocco for many centuries, and although these communities have often been quite small we can still find fascinating history.

Before the Inquisition, Morocco had a native Jewish population that could be traced back to the period following the destruction of the Second Temple during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. These former Jewish communities settled among and mixed with the Berbers, and only later, when Sephardic Jews escaped Spain for Morocco did Sephardic traditions come to the fore.

The first mellah was established in 1438 in Fez, Morocco’s oldest Imperial city, where Jews played an important development role, particularly through their commercial skills and regional contacts.

Although the Jews were forced to live in these walled areas until the late 19th century or early 20th century, an address in the mellahs was not always considered a disadvantage. They contained large homes and their prime location, typically near the king’s palace, was considered to be for the Jews’ benefit as it meant greater protection from attacks.

Over the years, Morocco became home to the largest Jewish population in the Arab world. Before the founding of the State of Israel, there were more than 350,000 Moroccan Jews scattered throughout the country in almost 100 communities.

Moroccan Cuisine

Moroccan cuisine is one of the most important cuisines in the world one of the reasons for its importance is its remarkable diversity of influence, interaction and exchanges with other cultures.

In Moroccan kitchens one can trace the country’s long history of colonizers and immigrants who have left their mark in more than one way.

The cuisine of its first inhabitants “the Berbers” still exists today in the staple of famous dishes like “Tangine, Couscous, Harrira and more” . The Arab invasion also brought new spices, nuts and dried fruits so the sweet and sour combination can be seen today in many of the dishes.

The combination of the introduction of olives and olive oil by the moors and what the Jewish-moors left behind their sophisticated preserving techniques that we see today in the preserved lemons, pickles etc.

The ottoman empire introduced Barbecue Meats, kebabs and grilled meats and then the French Colony although short lived compared to reign of some of these other empires left behind a culture of cafes pastries and even wines, so you can imagine with the combination of all these tastes the Moroccan cuisine is undoubtedly one of the best in the world..

Over time cooks in kitchens of the 4 Royal cities (Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes & Rabat) have developed and perfected the dishes that blend each of these distinct tastes and every Moroccan dish has its place in society and varies with the market, the season and the region.

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