Moroccan food is just as amazing as the country itself. Moroccan cuisine originates from Berber and Arabic cuisines. This typically means a lot of spices, olives, and lemon in main dishes, and dried fruits, nuts, and honey in desserts. However, it also had other influences, which sets Moroccan food apart from cuisines of other Arabic countries. The result is a unique mixture of flavors, textures, and colors that is hardly found anywhere else.
It seems that most Moroccans are big gourmands. Their staple food is meat, usually lamb or chicken as these meats are considered healthier than beef and therefore preferable. However, beef is also commonly used and has an important place in Moroccan cuisine. Moroccans are also increasingly fond of seafood, which they serve either grilled or in traditional tagine (also called tajine). Tagine is a stew with vegetables, olives, spices, garlic, and lemon cooked in a traditional heavy cooking pot with conical lid.
That’s how tagine (or tajine) looks like.
Moroccan Main Meal
Moroccan main meal usually starts with salads, such as garlic marinated eggplant, diced cucumbers and tomato, and chickpeas. Moroccan favorite salads are chakchuka and ihzina. Chakchuka is a salad of tomatoes and green peppers. Ihzina is actually a selection of olives decorated with orange slices and sprinkled with paprika. You may also see harira a popular Moroccan soup made of tomatoes, lentils, rice, and coriander.
After this light introduction you will be either served meat in tagine (also commonly spelled tajine) or bstilla. Bstilla is formed of layers of flaky thin pastry filled with meat, poultry, eggs, and almonds. And of course this wouldn’t be Morocco if your meal wasn’t accompanied by couscous! Couscous is semolina granules coated with ground wheat flour.
A plate of couscous.
Moroccan desserts are not only delicious but also healthy as they are usually prepared with fruits, nuts, and honey. Some of the most popular desserts are maamoul, semolina shortbread filled with dried fruits and/or nuts, pastili, pastry filled with nuts and honey, kaab ghzahl, pastry containing ground nuts, sugar, orange-flavored water, and cinnamon, and milk pastilla, a milk pudding with almond and vanilla flavors.
Finally wherever you go in Morocco, be that Bedouin tent or a luxury hotel, you will be offered tea. Moroccans serve tea in elaborately decorated tiny glasses and give an obvious preference to mint tea. You might be also offered coffee, which is always served with milk unless you request black coffee.