Together with the mosque, the souk is the lifeblood of the medina. Whether it is bread and pastries from bakeries, fresh produce or meat brought in from the countryside, fish from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, clothing, or any other product of craftsmanship, all can be found on display in stalls and small shops lining the crowded streets of the souk.
Once again, the dual nature of Moroccan life and culture, with its mixture of modern and traditional, is visible in the way traditional shops, that still cater to the local population and whose appearance has probably not changed much in the last hundred years, coexist with boutiques that aim to attract the crowds of tourists looking for a souvenir.
While some souks have been transformed into shopping malls for tourists, it is still possible to get a feeling of authenticity in some of them. If you are brave, you can even try sampling some of the food from one of the many shops purveying snails, camel stew, beef and ram head, and other assorted local specialties.
I would like to thank Christin McLeod for providing invaluable help in proofreading and editing the text of these articles.
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