It's been over nine years since I set foot in the United States as an immigrant and I'm still "all about Morocco" when it comes to food. Being away from my native country for so long, I inevitably found myself abandoning many of its traditions either because they were no longer compatible with my lifestyle, or because they lost some or all of their relevance as I grew and changed into who I am today.
Food traditions, however, remained with me throughout my journey. Food is charged with memories and emotions. Rarely do we prefer a certain dish only because of how it tastes. It is often because we associate it to special events, people we love and nurturing moments.
The recipe I'm elated to share today is special for the same above reasons. Not only does it taste fabulous - which by itself is a great reason for it to be a favorite - but also because whenever I make it I relive moments from my past through familiar flavors.
Our house in Marrakesh had two orange trees in the backyard which produced the most fragrant orange blossoms every spring. My father picked a handful to flavor our afternoon tea during joyous, care-free family gathering. My mother liked to add a few drops of orange blossom water whenever we were celebrating happy occasions; the more special the occasion the more orange blossom water she seemed to use. So to this day, whenever I'm in a festive mood, I add a few drops of orange blossom water to my sweet as well as savory dishes.
Photo © Nisrine Merzouki
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