The Elephant Cloud


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Not for the Faint of Grilling Hearts

October 19th, 2009 by · 1 Comment · Africa, Morocco

camel“Shall we find a baguette?” I asked, ducking into the covered market. Avoiding another sting, I strayed from the bee covered pastries and sweets, past the cones of colored spices, beyond the buckets of honey and oils.

My eyes fell upon hundreds of chickens. Each stall fronted a runway with scratching white feathered chickens. On the back wall, cages of lovely hens stacked on one another, often a rooster perched atop, ankle tethered to the metal. Occasionally rabbits, pigeons, turkeys or other live fowl were on display. Buyers would point, and the sellers quickly bound the feet together, tossing the feathered bundle on the scale, equaling out as weights were added to the other side.

We continued down the alimentary canal of livestock, stopping suddenly at a bloodied butcher drenched in chicken. An old fashioned grinder to his right, feathers spewed everywhere. A trickle of blood ran out his stall. As my eyes followed the stream, it converged to a river; looking down, I then noticed a steady flow of blood beneath our feet. A man hurried past, Jay motioned towards the fresh cow head mounted over his right shoulder, vital dripping down his back as brains and such spilled forth. The visceral attack didn’t end, each butcher proudly displayed entrails, brains, rows of severed heads.

The creme de la creme- a dozen freshly cut hearts hot on a griddle, each punctured with its own toothpick. A camel head adjoined to his dissected upperhalf remained on sale. Knives were dancing, hands without gloves, stalls without sinks… Moving along, skirting the blood, butchers bumping into you, trying to keep our sandaled toes sterile, I looked up one last time and noticed between these stalls of bloodied carcasses were beautifully stacked designs of cured green olives, tomatoes, chilies.

“A free taste?” offered the vendor. “La Shukran,” (no thanks) we replied, trying not to perseverate on everything we learned about disease. “Let’s get the bread later,” I shuddered.


One Comment

  • October 22nd, 2009 by Axel

    We’d be lucky to get fresh meat like that from known origins here.

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