Port Buzz: Casablanca Market & Cooking Class via Silversea
Port: Casablanca, Morocco
Visit to La Toque Blanche School of Gastronomy, Central Market and Hassan II Mosque.
Today Silver Spirit called on the Moroccan City of Casablanca. Under clear skies and a little humidity (thank goodness it’s not summer), our tour group boarded the bus destined for La Toque Blanche School of Gastronomy to learn how to cook Moroccan food.
Hassan II Mosque
Prior to arriving at the culinary school the bus made a quick pit-stop at the Hassan II Mosque. This unscheduled visit was well received by the cruise guests who were allowed off the bus to explore the outside of the world’s third largest mosque.
The foundations of the Hassan II Mosque lie partially on land and partly in the sea. I am told that there is a glass floor inside the mosque but I was not allowed in to confirm. The mosque can hold 25,000 people inside with plenty of space outside to accommodate overflow. We were told that the structure cost more than a billion dollars to build. The mosque took 6 years to build during 1987 to 1993 and it was the handiwork of over 2500 workers and 10,000 craftsmen. Impressive.
A riot of color, sounds, charmers, and ingredients assault the senses.
Our group stopped at a bustling market where we strolled the stalls looking for souvenirs, handicrafts, and spices. A lot of us purchased Argon oil (available in a cooking form or as a beauty-grade oil).
We had to climb four flights of stairs (a small elevator was available) to reach our final destination: La Toque Blanche School of Gastronomy.
We spent approximately 1-hour learning how to make Moroccan desserts, Saffa, Tfaya, Tajin, and Couscous. After learning about preparation techniques, we were able to go taste our creations.
The gastronomy school had a classroom setup for 20 people, a kitchen, and a restaurant with a roof-top terrace. The excursion was a great way to see Casablanca and to learn about the culture through their culinary arts. Although Silversea did offer complimentary shuttle bus service to the city center, I preferred going with our guide who was able to point out city highlights and give insight into the history, politics, and people of Casablanca.