Orange is the colour of Morocco
The Dutch will have something to say about asserting that orange is the colour of Morocco. Their borderline obsession with the colour orange dates back to Willem van Oranje (William of Orange) a Dutch Royal of old. The colour orange, however, now transcends royalty and has become a symbol of Holland. Morocco on the other hand is traditionally more known and associated with it’s red flag with the “seal of Solomon” as its centre piece.
Having had the pleasure of visiting both Holland and Morocco, certainly gastronomically speaking orange really is the colour of Morocco. My trip to Morocco was constantly punctuated with the colour orange – mostly from the fruit orange! I awoke each Moroccan morning to a blaze of sunshine, a blast of heat and a tall, slim glass or two of freshly squeezed orange juice!
Even my lovely decadent riad had a basket of oranges strategically placed at its entry metal doors as if to subtly warn travellers that this is an orange country. The outdoor swimming pool in my traditional Moroccan courtyard was not spared a splash of orange either.
The colour orange is said to stimulate activity, appetite and encourage socialization. In Christianity orange is representative of gluttony apparently. Well in Morocco the fruit takes much more importance over its colour and is reputedly a major foreign exchange earner.
The reason for this fixation and passion for Moroccan oranges seems obvious. As I found my way to the famous Djemaa El Fna Square in Marrakech, as any traveller worth their weight in salt would, I was hit by the piles and dunes of oranges mostly neatly arranged on old fashioned horse drawn carts. Naturally I ventured to sample a glass and was both surprised and elated by its inexpensivesness and by the taste. These are arguably the tastiest and freshest orange juices you could find anywhere in the world!
The oranges were freshly squeezed expertly in seconds in my presence into glass that had to be returned after its contents had been enjoyed. The taste of unpasteurized juice is the closest thing to consuming the orange itself.
Away from Djemaa El Fna square, fruit and orange sellers could be seen on street corners, it seemed either busy haggling with customers or gazing into thin air seemingly without a care in the world.
Morocco’s Marrakesh is indeed a red mud city brought nearer to exhilaration and absolute bliss by orange.