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Street Food: It's a Love-Hate Thing

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Did I ever tell you about my love/ hate relationship with street food? No? Well here goes…

Hey friends! Wanna hear a story?

I didn’t always enjoy eating food from street venders. In fact, I thought it was the most disgusting and the most unsanitary way to consume food. I remember going to the Santee Alley in Los Angeles with my mom and turning my nose up at the people eating bacon wrapped hot dogs from the hotdog cart. I also remember going to the my very first Souk in Meknes, Morocco and fighting the urge to barf. The smell of the freshly slaughtered meat, and the swarm of flies absolutely repulsed me. I thought, “I wouldn’t be caught dead eating that stuff.”

To my surprise, my outlook on consuming street food quickly changed. It was during one of my excursions through the ISA program where I learned about the community oven and authentic Khobz (Moroccan bread) making. I was mesmerized by how Mohammed (the man running the community mill and oven), knew exactly what family was responsible for producing which loaves. Mohammed offered us all a taste of the bread and it immediately melted in my mouth. I couldn’t believe that bread could taste so good with nothing added. That day, I had also learned about ancient Egypt and how Northern Africa was once the breadbasket for Rome and other growing civilizations. Although I am not of North African decent, I immediately felt proud to having African ancestors. With that came a new mindset. I thought, “what if this is my only opportunity to really immerse myself in the customs and courtesies of an African country? I have got to make the most of this experience” ….Yes, I was thinking VERY small back then. Hahaha!

Moroccan Medina (walled city)

Excursion to visit the community oven

That day forward, my roommates and I made it a point to walk to the medina every weekend to hang out at the Souk and eat street food. We even visited souks in Marrakesh, Rabat, Tangier and Chefchaouen. I devoured dishes like harira soup, pastilla, lamb kefta and of course lots of bread. Sure, my gut had to “adjust,” to the new bacteria entering my body. However, after a week or 2, I was able to eat like a true Moroccan local with no digestive issues. The thing I love most about consuming street food, is that you get an opportunity to support the local economy, support local families and culinary history is shared through story telling right there.

Pastilla (or bastilla)

Grilled lamb Kefta, stuffed inside Moroccan bread.

Traditional Moroccan Salad

Fast forward to today, you will find me booking a street food tour everywhere that I travel (both domestically and internationally). I have eaten amazing cuisine in the streets of New Orleans, Mexico and even with our friends up north (Canada). So far, anything cooked on an open fire, or gilled has been my absolute favorite. I am a sucker for things like grilled meats, corn and fire roasted veggies. From time to time, I will also eat street food like, alligator nuggets and fish (skin on).

My love for street food has grown so much, that I now offer walking food tours right here in Las Vegas. Don't believe me, head over to the services section of my website to book your walking street food tour today!

- BrookeLynn the Friendly Blogger

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