Wild honey of Fez

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One of my requisite stops upon returning to Fez is the honey souk, Fondouk Kaat Smen, on Tala’a Kebira, the Medina’s High Street. Big blue plastic casks filled with good honey line the sun-bleached courtyard, but I head for the back room at Nafis Hicham’s place.

There, bees who perished for their art loll in vats of sweet goodness, as he dips a teaspoon into each vat to dole out tasting portions.Some things have changed in Fez since Alice Feiring wrote about her visit to the honey souk in 2007, and the “feral honey” she found there. One thing that has not, however, is the variety of honey on offer here—and the quality. Oh the quality! Feiring is known for her passionate advocacy on behalf of natural wines; in my view, her good taste extends to the honey of Morocco.

Fondouk Kaat Smen (the Honey South), Fez medina, Morocco

Recently, I tried most of the honeys Feiring did, and came up with my own favorites from the current “vintage”. The carob was great, not grainy at all; lavender was evocative of summer-time Provence; and then I hit the caper vat. It was an “Aha! moment”.

Caper honey is said to be the perfect balm for colds and flu, but it was the delicate and flowery taste that got my vote…and soon my current favorite was poured into a little plastic bin and taped shut for the trip down Tala’a Kebira to Dar Borj Dahab.

I probably won’t be able to get through more than one container of honey over the next few weeks, so stopped before I could get carried away. Should matters change, though, and I experience a honey shortage, it will be time to head back up the hill, where I’ll try another flavor.

Kleo Brun, who offers organic breakfasts at her nearby guesthouse, Dar Attajalli, is a regular customer, and it’s easy to see why. Her lucky guests always get the best of the honeys on offer at a given time.

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This post is part of Wanderfood Wednesdayat Wanderlust and Lipstick.

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