Stuffed Camel Spleen
Giant logs of offal become satisfying street sandwiches in the old city of Fes.
Among the chaos of the Fes medina’s winding pedestrian walkways, street vendors slice and sear sausage-like entities that appear kindred to massive haggises.
They’re preparing pieces of spleen, stuffed taut with ground meat, spices, olives, and preserved lemon. These bulging loaves—which easily run more than a foot in length—sit alongside the griddle, set in a huge metal tray out in the open air. The offal casing is a camel’s spleen, called tehal, and the filling can contain a medley of camel, cow, and lamb meat. (Vendors offer the same fillings stuffed in a cow’s spleen, as well.) Traditionally, cooks prebake the filled log into a deep, dark shade using one of Morocco’s many communal bread ovens, then fry it to order.
Medina vendors take rapid-fire requests, scrambling the stuffed spleen with herbs, vegetables, and sometimes (if you ask nicely) an egg in about a minute. Then, they’ll scoop the mixture into open pockets of batbout, a type of Moroccan pita bread. This street fare is no novelty: Working locals line up to grab a quick lunch of savory, creamy meat crammed into fresh, floury breads every day. And the meal never runs more than 12 dirham, or a little more than $1.
Where to Try It
Fes el BaliTalaa Segira, Fes, Morocco
Look for vendors frying slices of this deep-hued spleen log on Talaa K’bira or Talaa Segira, both pedestrian streets within the old city's walls.