Morocco has always been the center of all the world’s trade routes. Ships from all the countries passed through North Africa and stayed in Morocco with their goods. That’s why this country is influenced by many different cultures and nations. Especially if talking about its food. Moroccan cuisine is considered one of the most diverse in the world. And you can be surprised with very unusual, special and sometimes even odd combination of tastes in the dishes. The reason is that there are the ingredients from all the world’s cuisines in Moroccan dishes.
The country has a big and rich history, so it was mostly inspired by French and Spanish cuisines, as well as Arabic and Jewish traditions in cooking. From every nook and cranny you can feel the delicious smells of fresh bread, mint, meat grilled with different spices or hot almond bakery. All the smells and meal itself are so appealing and delicious, make you want to try it all the time.
And the most amazing is that these dishes can unite together sweet, salt and spicy tastes which makes the national cuisine so special. Not only dishes but the way of eating is unusual in Morocco and can seem strange to a foreigner from the first sight. Originally Berber people don’t use any utensils while eating. No knifes, no spoons, no forks – just use their hands, and a piece of bread. Bread is a big part of all Moroccan food. Wherever you go, whenever you decide to have an eat break – you will start with bread. It is served to any dish in Morocco. And it is always so fresh and hot that you can’t stop eating it.
The popularity of baguettes came from France, so no matter which café or restaurant you go to – first you will get bread along with olives and butter as a necessary option. Apart from olives Moroccan land is rich of vegetables and fruits, herbs and spices, meat and seafood.
Moroccan people use spices everywhere, they like chili pepper very much, use a lot of ginger and coriander, cinnamon. Grind caraway is added to meat dishes, rice dishes flavored with saffron. People all over the world know about amazing Moroccan mint tea. It is so special in Morocco and the tradition of cooking and drinking it has become kind of art here. It is not only about mint and the taste of the tea, but the technique of making and pouring it out, drinking from small glasses then – is so different from other countries, that you can wonder and enjoy just the process itself when you see it the first time. You will find coffee in Morocco with specific cardamom taste. So anything you eat or drink in Morocco will seem to you different and unusual mostly because of all these spices and flavorings. If you walk through the souk or just any grocery rows you can watch these various little piles of fruits, nuts and spices, different colors and smells that make your head going round. That’s Moroccan style!
Moroccan food really stirs up your appetite influencing all your senses – your eyes, smell and taste. Usually it is a lot of different dishes on the table. It can be Pastilla along with Tajine or Couscous and some salads. And all the family usually shares one big plate when eating. Salads can be served to each person by portion. A well-known Moroccan salad is cooked of boiled potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper and olives. Another one called Shergi is a rice salad. It has also parsley, radish, greens and some citrus fruits.
There are popular salads with fried aubergines and oranges, mint and wheat. Some of them filled up with tomato sauce, others – with olive oil. Another favorite dish in Morocco is hummus which is mashed peas with benne or olive oil, garlic and lemon sauce. Talking about main dishes – if you have already been to Morocco you know for sure that it is Tajine and Couscous. Tajine is a mixture of meat, different vegetables and spices, all stewed and cooked in a special argilla ware.
Couscous is a national Berber dish and made of tapioca groats with stewed meat and vegetables on top. They can add nuts, raisins or peas and various spices for better taste. Both Couscous and Tajine can be cooked with all kinds of meat (except pork), all kinds of vegetables and many different ways of cooking, all chiefs have their own secrets.
There are also some national soups like Harira or Chorba. Harira is made of lamb with some beans. It is often eaten during Ramadan. And Chorba is a chicken soup with herbs and spices. There are a lot of dishes with seafood. Fish can be grilled or stewed, added to Tajine or even bakery. Many kinds of seafood you will find in local souks of Agadir, Essaouira or Rabat. Tunny, sardine, perch, shrimps and octopus. Everything is fresh and just from the ocean. And of course the awesome oriental desserts. Most of them have origins from Arabic culture and are made from fruits and spices again. Kaab el gzal, baklava, makrud and shebakia. All is full of nuts, honey, raisins and chocolate. You will definitely be touched by both its look and incredible taste.
Moroccan cuisine is one of the tastiest in the world. Moroccan people really know the sense in cooking. They got used to eat and serve their tables like Kings in palaces as inherent to monarchy culture. So you will never stay hungry after having your meal and will always have your power and energy for surfing during all the day.
Good waves and Bon appetite to everybody!