ITALY, MOROCCO

Taste of Morocco. Authentic, Vivid and Vibrant

How I fell in love with Moroccan cuisine

When thinking about the taste of Morocco, a quote of a celebrity chef P.Prudhomme comes to my mind: “You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food”. The taste of Morocco is much more vivid, vibrant and authentic than you might think.

Moroccan food
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It is not only the spicy taste of the well-known tagine or the sweet bitterness of famous freshly-made orange juice from Jemaa el-Fnaa market.

The taste of Morocco is closely related to its history, people and their genuine hospitality. Spending a week living with Moroccan family immersed me in local culture more than I would have ever expected. Not only did I end up feeling like a family member and the most welcomed guest in their house, but the experience also helped me discover a whole new world of tastes and aromas through the culinary traditions of the country. Being a part of the local society, following a simple, yet beautiful lifestyle made me fall in love with Morocco, its’ people and understand why Moroccan cuisine is considered one of the greatest in the world.

Breakfast. Sweet memories

When I think of the taste of Morocco, I see gentle hands of a smiling lady, kneading dough and dusting her hands with flour early in the morning. Her skillful fingers pat it into smooth, soft balls, which later become msemens, the tasty square shape pancakes.

msemen

I find it difficult to stop watching her doing her simple, bewitching actions. My msemen is ready, crispy out, but soft and chewy inside. Oven-like msemen is being filled with a thin layer of delicate cream cheese, honey or homemade jam. All of that is being served with a pot of a hot Moroccan extra sweet tea.

moroccan breakfast

What a pleasure! I take a seat and watch people, donkeys, carriages, and bikes pass by. All of them hurry to the medina, the day has officially started.

My next memory brings me back to the house in Meknes. We have a late breakfast with my host family. Here it becomes evident that Moroccan culture has a cult of bread. Thin and thick, soft and crispy, round and square, it’s found on every table and every house. Today we are eating different types of griddle-cakes and semolina flatbreads, dipping it into thick sweet amlou. Amlou is the traditional dish made of argan oil, honey, and toasted almonds. It has a great, rich nutty taste, and as you may guess – many calories. It is very nourishing, however a bit unusual for my stomach, which usually receives a yogurt in the morning. No need to mention, all of that goes with an incredible amount of mint tea.

Tea as a ritual

Making the traditional fragrant tea is almost an art, and far from being an easy job. Chinese green gunpowder tea is made with a generous quantity of fresh spearmint and sugar. There is some magic involved in the process of making real Moroccan tea. Those, who can catch “the spirit of the tea” and pour it correctly, will enjoy the most aromatic, tasteful drink with a nice foamy head.

Moroccan tea
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Tea is more than a beverage; it is a way to express feelings and unite. It is served all day long, and there is nothing which compliments it better than a good conversation. Simply fantastic! Later a friend of mine gave me a perfect present – the traditional engraved teapot, a set of cups, and a huge pack of the excellent gunpowder tea. However, even following all the steps, I was never able to make the same mint tea I have tried there.

New discoveries

Another drink which ultimately won my heart is the avocado shake. It took some time to understand what the ingredients of the particular thick beverage served by a mother of the family are. I was pleasantly surprised it was a delicious and refreshing combination of cold milk, avocado, and honey. I know this mix may seem a bit unusual, but you should give it a try when in Morocco. Promise you won’t regret.

Moroccan pride

A Moroccan dish not to be missed is couscous. It is colorful, steamed to perfection and won’t leave you indifferent. My personal preference is the one with seasonal vegetables and soft, juicy lamb. Needless to say, homemade couscous is the best!

Moroccan couscous
Wikimedia

Variations of the dish are so many that it won’t be a problem to find the one you love above all others. You can choose from the vast variety – spicy or mild, with meat or without, salty or sweet. There are even dessert one with nuts, dried fruits, and honey.

King of the soups

Another memory brings me back to the lively night market of Essaouira. Despite late hours, it is still full of people. I am walking around the stalls, impressed by the variety of products the market offers. Everything from olives to raw fish you can find there. It is late, and the temperature slowly drops to 5 degrees. My hands and feet start getting cold. To warm myself up I pay 4 dirhams, and the seller pours me a huge bowl of thick Moroccan soup. The hot steam flickers in the night air.

I take a spoon and inhale the aroma of exotic seasonings. Hot lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, cooked on a lamb broth immediately fill my stomach and warm me from inside. Harira is a very nourishing soup, which gives energy to people during the Ramadan. So if you are visiting Morocco in winter, a bowl of warming harira is something you definitely need to try.
These are just a few suggestions on the way of exploring the real taste of Morocco. I hope you love the taste of Morocco the same as I do!

 

 

28 thoughts on “Taste of Morocco. Authentic, Vivid and Vibrant

  1. What an interesting article ! I live in Sicily, not that far from Morocco. Couscous is well-known and appreciated here. Personally I like the fish version of this delicious dish. Did you know Sicily was once ruled by the Arabs ? Greetings

    1. Hi Alessandro, I love love love Sicily.And i read a lot about it. Hopefully I will be able to live there at least for a few months next year.

  2. I was in Morocco in October, and loved the food! I didn’t try the breakfast food you mentioned, and am gutted now, it looks so delicious! And who can say no to a tagine?! Not me that’s for sure 🙂

  3. I would love to try the avocado shake and I’m crazy about trying out new teas. Superb article on Moroccon food, though wondering what a vegetarian would get to eat…

  4. Wow, what an amazing blog, I have to say, I felt like I was there with you while reading this. I am going there next year, I will be using your advice and ideas, especially food.

  5. I love the tea tradition. This is really interesting, not having much experience with Moroccan culture. I’d love to try any of these foods and drinks!

  6. I haven’t had lunch yet and reading this made me hungry! Thank you for this wonderful introduction to Moroccan food. How wonderful that you got to taste it all the local way. Those pancakes are making me drool as well as those couscous. So many flavours in a bowl!

  7. Love Morrocan food, thank you for the amazing insight of Morocco. I am visiting next year 🙂 I can not wait. I look forward to trying some of your recommendations.

  8. The msemen looks tasty and yummy. Something that I want to try. It looks a bit like roti cenai that you can find everywhere in Singapore and Malaysia.

  9. Mmmmhhh, this post makes me hungry 🙂 and brings back lots of good memories to my trip to Morocco a couple of years back. I am also a huge fan of couscous but I think back home it just doesn’t taste as great as in Morocco

  10. This place is like a dream! I’ve had Moroccan food here in the US but I bet it is far more delicious there! I love how they pour the tea. Such a cool and mesmerizing ritual. You really present this place is a magical way and it makes me want to travel there even more!

  11. I haven’t tried Moroccan food before, but I am now starving for it! I love that quote about not needing a silver spoon to eat good food, as is evident with the tagine. Can’t wait to try it!

  12. Oh that tea ☕️ ❤️ I love the way you write! Makes me feel like I can smell and taste everything! Most definitely wanting a hot spearmint tea right now.

  13. Morocco has never been on radar. But after reading your post and how beautiful the culture, people, and food are I may just have to add it!

  14. I’ve never had Morrocan food but after this I would love to try it. Hope I could go to Morroco and eat a lot there!

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  15. This food just loos so good! I really want to visit this country and cannot wait to try the authentic food there one day! I love that mint in the tea! I do that at home now!

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