8 days and not the most interesting of days. Today we tested some of the kitchen equipment and used the oven for the first time. The kitchen is definitely the heart of the Moroccan home. They tend to be proportionally smaller than in England as most of the food stock is bought daily from the local souks so there is no need for large food storage areas. However, the kitchens in Riads that have been adapted to host guests are a different story as they inevitably need more equipment (think dishwashers, coffee makers and of course a decent food mixer). Therefore, the kitchen is proportionally a larger area.
Sourcing the technology is challenging. The import tax of 42% makes familiar foreign brands out of reach unless they are actually manufactured in Morocco. Not many electronic manufacturers produce within the country. Instead some manufacturers produce a cheaper model especially for these markets but with the import tax they retail for a similar price as more robust models in Europe. In addition, when it comes to the fridge/freezer the model has to be sufficiently robust to cope with the summer heat.
Therefore, equipping a kitchen is extremely challenging and in our case it took several months of sourcing and making the right decision. An additional problem is the absence of mains gas within Marrakech and the cost of electricity is considerably higher than back in England. Therefore most ovens are run on portable gas which is readily available in the Souks. However, for those of us not used to cooking in this way there is constant paranoia that the gas will run out right in the middle of the bake. This makes supervising the cooking an essential factor when preparing meals.
All part of the delight and challenge of living in such a beautiful city.