My first taste of b'stilla was on a visit to Marrakech in the 1970s. Our host had organized a lavish meal, and it kicked off with an extraordinary pigeon pie, enriched with scrambled eggs and ground almonds. He daintily broke through its thin pastry, which was dusted with cinnamon and sugar, and slipped out a tiny drumstick with his fingers. Handing it to me, he explained that I should suck the meat off the bone and then pinch off a little pastry with the rest of the filling to construct the perfect bite. The interplay of sweet and savory, along with the complex spicing, was completely different from the fresh flavors of my homeland, Lebanon. That first pie was a watershed, and on subsequent trips to Morocco, I endeavored to learn more about b'stilla.