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The Jews of Morocco


The grand dinner in Tétouan
Claudia Roden Writer
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Tétouan is a city that is much more religious, so the women all hide their faces. And the others they just have like a hood that they put on their kaftan. And I was given the address in London. And it was a very grand house, and we were eating on a brass tray around a big brass tray as the table. And we were sitting on cushions on the ground. Rather not on the ground, it was sort of like a platform. And on cushions. And it was a very traditional meal. First with kemia, and they are mainly vegetables. And now it's famous here. You make them, your mother makes them. The roast carrots, a lot of them were in my early book and they are in Arabesque. And a lot of people use Arabesque, and a lot of English young chefs tell me that they have got their recipes from that book. It really was popular and goes on being so. And also, in America it was. Some of the recipes in Arabesque come from that dinner in Tétouan. And then they had a pastilla which was different to the one in Fez. The one in Fez was sweet, it had a dusting with icing sugar. And it had a sort of lines with cinnamon. But inside was a bit sweet as well, but in Tétouan it was lemon. It was sharp. It was different. And so, I can't remember all of the dishes I had there. But it was a wonderful, wonderful experience.

Claudia Roden (b. 1936) is an Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food.

Listeners: Nelly Wolman

Claudia Roden talking to her granddaughter Nelly Wolman about her life in food.

Tags: Tétouan, dinner, pastilla, kemia, food

Duration: 2 minutes, 44 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023