Morocco’s mouthwatering cuisine has a depth of flavor resulting from ancient and modern influences from Andalusian Spain, Arabia, Asia and France.
It’s alive with subtle spices and mouthwatering flavor combinations. Imagine fresh, sour green olives paired with preserved lemons, stirred into a tagine of tender chicken; or a tender pigeon meat pie dusted with cinnamon and icing; or sardines flash broiled coated with a combination of coriander, parsley, cumin and a hint of chili. Every meal is an experience!
So here are some traditional Moroccan delicacies to look out for when you’re traveling this majestic kingdom:
This rich soup of dried fava beans is traditionally served in Northern Morocco for breakfast, topped with a swirl of olive oil, a sprinkling of cumin and paprika, with fresh bread out of the oven.
Hot soup for breakfast? Absolutely! It’s a “fava”lis way to start the day!
Fresh seafood is a staple in Morocco, due to the extensive coastline along the Mediterranean and Atlantic. A highlight of any trip would be to walk the piers of Essouira, purchase sardines fresh off the boat and bring them right to a local restaurant and have them salt-bake the sardines for you. MWA! What perfection!
There is a wide variety of seafood dishes that you can enjoy anywhere in Morocco, and you can be assured of the highest quality, freshest fish in the world. Think tagine, couscous, stews, bastilla, crab and lobster, etc. When in port towns, make it a priority to find a good guide who can lead you directly to the best seafood restaurants in town.
Harira is a perhaps the most common staple of the Moroccan diet. During the holy month of Ramadan, the fast is broken at sunset each day with a steaming bowl of this delicious soup that is rich with tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas (sometimes lamb, sometimes vegetarian), and finished off with a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped coriander, and served with a sticky sweet pretzel called chebakkiya.
Couscous, perhaps the most familiar of Moroccan dishes, is a fine wheat pasta traditionally rolled by hand and double steamed. When served, the meat is covered by a pyramid of couscous and the vegetables are pressed into the sides and the sauce is served separately.
It’s often garnished with a sweet raisin preserve, or in the Berber tradition, a bowl of buttermilk.
Royal Couscous is a kind of “kitchen sink” version that has everything and anything the chef wants to add, with several different meats in addition to all the vegetables they can fit.
This very special pie, served as a main course for special events, represents the pinnacle of exquisite Fassi (from Fez) cuisine. Layers of a paper-thin pastry wrap around a blend of pigeon, chicken, seafood or other meat, mixed with almonds and eggs spiced with saffron, cinnamon and fresh coriander. The savory pie is then dusted with sugar and cinnamon. It is delicious and unforgettable! It takes many hours to make, and is usually quite expensive, but well worth it.
On your Moroccan journey, you’ll find an infinite assortment of roadside “tagineries” where you can stop and have a bite for lunch You’ll be able to choose from an assortment of beef, chicken or lamb cooked in a tomato and onion sauce with garlic, fresh coriander and parsley. It is served with pan bread and mint tea.
Mint tea is the quintessential element of Moroccan hospitality. It will be rare that you enter a home or hotel and are not offered the opportunity to sit down immediately for a cup of this delicious refreshment, otherwise known as “Moroccan Whiskey.” It is a tea ceremony to rival tea ceremonies, and has been a part of Moroccan tradition for hundreds and hundreds of years.
Mint tea is prepared with fresh mint, Chinese Gunpowder tea, and sugar. It is steeped, then poured out, and poured back in, until the taste has reached perfection. If you don’t consume sugar, you can ask for no sugar and it will be provided.
On your journey, you will enjoy many cups of Moroccan Hospitality!
Marrakesh Voyage offers cooking classes as a part of our customized, private journies. Whether you’re interested in a solo class or a whole tour of cooking classes, we can provide you with the ultimate experience for your budget.
Marrakesh Voyage is a Morocco ground tour operator specialized in FIT and exotic escorted trips throughout the mystical Kingdom of Morocco, representing Guests and Tour Operators from all around the Globe. Our headquarters are in New York, and we have offices all over Morocco.
We will help you design and customize the trip of a life time according to your interest, passions, and desire for you, your guests and for your company.