The other day, my sister-in-law brought over a chocolate cake which had been garnished with a few of the little red fruits shown in the photo. They're not a variety of raspberry, as you might think on initial glance, but chachnou, the fruit of the strawberry tree, which is indigenous to the mountain regions of Morocco. My sister-in-law had just been to the high Atlas, and she brought the berries back for us to sample.
Despite the strawberry tree's name, these curious-looking gems (you can click on the photos for a better look) taste nothing like strawberries. In fact, I found them somewhat bland and seedy, but I could easily eat a handful nonetheless. And, although we're nowhere near the mountains here in Casablanca, chachnou can sometimes be found in our souks while the fruit is in season.
See my glossary listing for Chachnou for more information on the fruit, the tree and their medicinal uses.
Photo © Christine Benlafquih
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