Moroccan Cuisine :
Moroccan food is a feast for the senses. Famous for its fruity tangines, buttery couscous, light pastries and fragrant and scented sweet dishes, it is a cuisine that reflects its colourful history of different people and their culinary traditions.
Located in the northwest corner of Africa, Morocco acts as a culinary gateway to the native influences of Africa, the ancient and medieval traditions of the Arab world, and to the Andalusian flavours of southern Spain. It is a land where the medieval and the modern are intertwined.
The Moroccan Kitchen :
The souks and the old medinas of Morocco bestow the country’s culinary world. Magical and enticing, filled with arresting aromas and colourful displays, they are the bustling centers of daily life.
Dried fruit and nuts, such as apricots, dates, prunes, figs, almonds, walnuts and pistachios, are featured frequently in tagines and couscous. The principal herbs are flat-leaf parsley and cilantro and fresh mint is used in mint tea and added to salads.
Olives and olive oil feature predominately in the Moroccan culinary landscape. Kalamata, cracked green olives, and their varieties are offered at any time of day as a snack or appetizer.
Unique to North Africa and mainstay of Moroccan cuisine, a tagine is a glorified, slow-cooked stew, deeply aromatic and full of flavor. “Tagine” is the name of both the cooked dish and the traditional earthenware cooking vessel with its majestic conical lid. Locals don’t use forks or spoons when eating “Tagine” but use bread as forks, everywhere you go to eat you will be offered eating utensils if you wish.
Couscous is Morocco’s national dish and the staple of North Africa. This dish is extremely versatile and can be served as an accompaniment or served as a course on its own.
Throughout the Islami world bread is regarded as sacred and is never wasted. In Morocco, leftover bread is given to the poor or to pets and livestock. In general, bread is made daily in community ovens, and in rural communities it is served with every meal to act as a scoop and as a mop to soak up sauces. The most common style of Moroccan breads are flat breads and baguette-style loaves.
Tea, Coffee and Drinks :
Morocco is well known for its mint tea, a great thirst quencher in both hot and cold weather and a traditional mark of hospitality. t is offered wherever you go, and it is impolite to refuse. Coffee is more of a cafe and restaurant drink, as it is much more expensive than tea. In the home, coffee is reserved for special occasions. The preference is for thick, black shots of coffee, prepared Turkish style, but some modern cafes serve milky coffee in the manner of cafe au lait.
Islam prohibits the drinking of alcohol, but since the influence of the French, Morocco has been a producer of several wines and beers. Beer, wine and mixed drinks are available in most restaurants.
Moroccan spices are varied and pungent with a heavy leaning toward ginger and cumin, both are held in high esteem for their digestive qualities. You must not miss the many spices souks as you wander through the medina, it is a sight to behold.