Travel Tip Of The Day: How To Buy Spices In Morocco

Morocco has long been a land where cultures converged to trade spices, and spice markets are still plentiful today.

The spices are great not just for how they make cuisine taste, but also for their medicinal value.

While there are dozens of “spice stars” important to Moroccan cuisine, the most popular ones to bring back are cumin, paprika, saffron and sea salt.

This is due not only to their high price elsewhere, but also the high quality of what you can get in Morocco.

You might think a souk is going to be a great place to get bargains (and it can be), but they also mark their prices up rather high, especially in popular cities like Marrakech.

Definitely be prepared to bargain, and hard. A good strategy is to jump to one third of their asking price and go from there.

If you have the time, you should also gauge how busy a shop is, as the spices will likely have a large turnover and you can make sure they aren’t stale.

A day of simply window shopping without buying anything will prove beneficial if you plan to bring home a lot.

One spice to be particularly careful buying is saffron — it’s the most expensive spice in the world and it is often counterfeit.

While you can’t get an entire bag of it like you can some spices, a gram usually goes anywhere from $US10 to $US15 dollars.

Look for saffron that is long and thin with bright red color, skip the powdered form as it’s often lower quality, and possibly counterfeit.

Good luck, and happy spice hunting!


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