B’stilla, my beating heart

Postcard from a Pigeon

I couldn’t find b’stilla until I had a close shave with Alad’in, the barber of Albayzin.

For those who don’t know, b’stilla is a traditional Moroccan/Andulusian savoury/sweet poultry pie enriched with scrambled egg, almonds, sugar and cinnamon. Although in its most traditional form the poultry used was pigeon, it is more often served with shredded chicken thighs or quail. It was commonly served as an appetiser or starter at Moroccan weddings.

So while trudging the narrow cobblestoned streets of Albayzin, I made a point of checking the menus of every Moorish restaurant in the neighbourhood in a vain search for this has to be tasted to be believed dish. Not a chance.

Until I went for a haircut and a hot shave in the Albayzin Barbers, close to the Church of San Nicholas. Here, I met Alad’in, who, apart from running a cool barbershop and giving me the most, simultaneously…

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