Wondrous Words Wednesday {1}

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy over at BermudaOnion’s Weblog. The idea is to share new words you’ve learned through reading, or spotlight words you really love.

This week’s list of wondrous words is coming from Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes from the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora by Jeff Koehler. Even though I’ve been taking my time reading through the thoroughly enchanting history section at the beginning of the book, I’ve still accumulated tons of new words. I guess being exposed to a new culture will do that (not that I’m complaining). 🙂 Some of these words I was at least familiar enough with to get an idea of what they mean in a sentence, but most are new to me, since I haven’t been exposed to Moroccan culture or food until recently. Also, some words have multiple meanings, but I’ve included only the ones relevant to the book I read them from. I’ll be breaking up my word list into a few different weekly posts, because there are just sososo many!

On with the sharing of the learning:

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“It seems to me that this is in part due to the culture’s highly developed sense of visual artistic expression, with the long tradition of arabesques, in repeating and interlacing patterns used for decoration — on walls, in carpets, covering ceramic zellij tile mosaics — and the flowing forms in Arabic calligraphy.” – on the visual attention paid to presentation of dishes

ar·a·besque [ar-uhbesk]
noun
1. a sinuous, spiraling, undulating, or serpentine line or linear motif.
2. any ornament or ornamental object, as a rug or mosaic, in which flowers, foliage, fruits, vases, animals, and figures are represented in a fancifully combined pattern.
3. decorated with or characterized by arabesques: arabesque design.

arabesque2

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zellij
terra cotta tilework covered with enamel in the form of chips set into plaster; one of the main characteristics of the Moroccan architecture, consisting of geometrical mosaics made of ceramic used mainly as an ornament for walls, ceilings, fountains, floors, pools, tables, etc.

zellij

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“Remaining strong, even vital, is the tradition of the weekly souq that gathers together fruits and vegetables, spices, livestock, and whatever else might be bought, sold, or traded. In the countryside, and especially at crossroads towns — Ouazzane in the north, Agdz in the Drâa Valley, Tiznit and Guelmim in the south — sprawling, weekly markets gather on the outskirts and draw thousands from the region to the selection of products brought in from the countryside: heaps of yellow melons dabbed with identifying markers of paint, papery purple red onions, clementines, boxes of sticky dates, mounds of small, pointed almonds and dried turmeric roots.”

souq
an open-air marketplace or commercial quarter in Middle Eastern or North African cities

Djemaa El-Fna in Marrakech: As the sun travels across the sky, orange-juice vendors make way for healers and henna tattoo artists, who scoot over for snake charmers, astrologers and acrobats. Around dusk, the storytellers begin their epic tales, and cooks cart in the makings of 100 restaurants specializing in barbecued everything, tasty cooked salads and steaming snails.

Djemaa El-Fna in Marrakech: As the sun travels across the sky, orange-juice vendors make way for healers and henna tattoo artists, who scoot over for snake charmers, astrologers and acrobats. Around dusk, the storytellers begin their epic tales, and cooks cart in the makings of 100 restaurants specializing in barbecued everything, tasty cooked salads and steaming snails.

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Sources: Morocco, dictionary.com, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet, Pinterest

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