Moroccan pigeon pie is a
sumptuous spiced poultry pie using swuab pigeons
enriched with ground almonds, sugar and cinnamon
encased in crispy filo pastry. As a discerning
individual, when Abdessamad, the son of the
restaurant Gout de Meknes owner,
invited me to sample his mothers Bstilla,
I salivated just thinking about the taste.
I was in Morocco having been invited to a
traditional wedding by the bride herself, Jihane.
I had met Jihane briefly in Antalya, Turkey on
holiday with her mother. Born in France, Jihane
lived in Saint Tropez but her religious Muslim
mother came from Meknčs and still wore the veil.
When I asked Jihane if she had a boyfriend, she
told me she was getting married in November. I
wished her good luck and, surprisingly, she
invited me, a complete stranger, to her wedding
I go where I am called in life and believe in
Happenstance. I announced I would come! She was a
lovely person and I loved fascinating Morocco
having been twice before. Back in Brighton I
began researching riads in the Imperial Cities of
Meknes and Fez and got very excited, visualising
in my mind, souks filled with colourful handwoven
textiles, kaftans and jewellery.
I discovered the charming traditional Riad Ritaj
in Meknes on the Internet and immediately became
friendly with the owners Said, his younger
brother Omar and adorable sister Salma on arrival.
Omar wanted to buy me a kaftan for the wedding
and take me shopping in the nearby souk. Not
wanting him to know that Id already bought
a suitable hand embroidered kaftan from Fez
beforehand, I told him I admired Berber jewellery.
However I did fall in love with a traditional
Berber orange necklace and he was happy to
present me with it to commemorate my visit to
Meknes, the magnificent Imperial City. Today I
wear it with pride and think fondly of him and
his charming generous hospitable family.
After the glorious wedding where the ravishing
bride Jihane changed her bejewelled gowns five
times, I stayed on a few extra nights at the riad.
I was thus introduced to a French speaking
tourist guide who escorted me, not only to the
souk, but also to the ancient synagogue and
cemetery after the wedding.
Back at the intriguing souk with its labyrinth of
alleyways, the guide inveigled me into an antique
shop filled with wondrous tempting Berber
jewellery. I desisted so he then lured me,
obviously on a commission, to the adjoining
Gout de Meknes restaurant for a mint
On entering his friend, Abdessamad Benzineb
grabbed my hand and boldly kissed it, with his
lips touching my fingers. Not too many men have
kissed my hand and usually slobber but I find it
delightful and old fashioned nevertheless.
However, he lingered a fraction of a second too
long, squeezing my fingers and gazing into my
eyes with a leering smile. I knew what was on his
mind. Lust! He then invited me to sit down on the
back wall sofa propped up with sumptuous
colourful cushions, presenting his visiting card
and called one of his staff to bring mint tea for
us both. My guide immediately tactfully vanished
on cue and I was alone with this young frisky
puppy. He gazed into my eyes,saying I must come
back on Monday to taste his mothers
wondrous pigeon pie. How could I resist such an
invitation? It was clear it was an seductive
invitation, especially when he told me he was
attracted to older women and quite naturally
asked me my age! Mon Dieu or should I say Allah!
Looking for a foreign Sugar Mummy no doubt!
Tea was poured from a height to aerate it from a
traditional silver plated pot into enamelled
glasses perched on metal saucers. I told him
about Jihanes wedding, but he seemed more
interested in telling me about an older Italian
lady in her fifties who came from Rome to visit
him every year for her erotic pleasure with him!
He then gave me the menu of what he provided
front and back, in and out, up and down et al.
Then he fished out of his hand tooled leather
wallet a photo of the poor defenceless headless
naked woman in the shower, full frontal with her
abundant dark pubes. A sight to behold, without
her knowledge and permission for sure. My guide
came back and we agreed I would return for the
promised Pastilla on Monday the next day.
However on Monday, I had other fish to fry with
my guide and so my he escorted me back to the
restaurant on Tuesday especially for the promised
complimentary pie. When it finally arrived all
alone on a large decorative beautiful ceramic
plate without any vegetables, I tucked in with
gustatory anticipation but it was not good. In
fact I only ate half, saying Id had a large
breakfast in my riad and was not very hungry.
Perhaps it had been made Monday and served up on
Young Abdessamad was nowhere to be found when the
bill came on a silver plated platter. A bill? I
was most indignant and insisted I had been
invited. Abdessamad was in the antique shop
probably hiding from me knowing his pie
investment had not yielded growth. I complained
about being given a bill especially as he knew I
was a senior Tripadvisor reviewer and would be
reviewing his restaurant. He mumbled he had
invited me on Monday and not Tuesday and the bill
must have been issued in error. My guide dragged
me away at the pivotal moment.
Did youthful Abdessamad really think he would get
me in the shower for a pastilla? Allah!
5.11.18 in Brighton and begun in Lucy Corkhills