There are few more mouthwatering tastes in the world more exotic than those found in Morocco. The North African country’s fragrant spiced dishes and fresh intriguing flavour combinations have earned accolades from five-star food critics across the globe. The mythical land of Morocco is a mind-expanding travel destination in its own right, and its rich and tantalizing cuisine is the proverbial icing on the already-sumptuous cake.
From legendary Casablanca to bustling Marrakech, the storied cities and towns of Morocco serve up tantalizing dishes everywhere, from high-end restaurants and cafes to riads and neighborhood street stalls. Morocco’s world-famous national delicacy is couscous, and fresh Mediterranean fruits and vegetables accompany many Moroccan dishes. Locally grown lemons, olives, figs, dates, and almonds are spectacularly flavourful, and because the country is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, fish and seafood is fresh and plentiful.
Morocco’s exotic cuisine reflects a rich and diverse history. Over the centuries, the Kingdom of Morocco has been influenced by Roman, Arab, Berber, and French civilizations. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food and there is a centuries-old art to their careful balancing. A Moroccan cooking class with locals will teach you about artisan dishes made in the Berber villages over centuries past. It’s an amazing multi-sensory experience.
Moroccan meals are cause for celebration, and dishes are shared around the table with warmth and laughter. Hospitality is a very important part of Moroccan culture, and by staying in a riad you can enjoy authentic Moroccan meals that are steeped in tradition. Be sure to take a wander through the souks (outdoor market stalls) for hours of spice-scented intrigue. Here you can barter for fragrant ginger, earthy cumin, delicate saffron threads, and sweet-scented cinnamon to take home.
Your travels through Morocco will be steeped in sensory delight and mystical charm. Enjoy the best of Moroccan cuisine with these few must-try dishes that Morocco has to offer:
Tagines can be seen bubbling away at every roadside café, and they are found in first-class restaurants, cafes, and homes across the country. The classic North African dish gets its name from the clay cooking pot with a conical lid (you can buy these to take home). Tagine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry, or fish, together with vegetables or fruit. A definite must-try!
No visit to Morocco is complete without sampling some fresh couscous. ‘Seksu’ or couscous is a fine wheat pasta traditionally rolled by hand and steamed over a stew of meat and vegetables. The meat is served in a pyramid shape with the vegetables pressed into the sides, and the sauce served separately. It is often garnished with a sweet raisin preserve, or, in the Berber tradition, with a bowl of buttermilk.
Known as “Moroccan whisky”, sweet mint tea is consumed several times throughout the day. Even on the hottest of afternoons, gunpowder tea is steeped with fresh sprigs of spearmint and served up steaming. The tea is poured into an intricately decorated glass from mind-bending heights. Making this popular sweet tea is considered something of an art form, and the higher the pour, the better!
During the holy month of Ramadan, the fast is broken at sunset each day with a steaming bowl of harira soup. Rich with tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and lamb, it is finished off with a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped coriander. Harira is often accompanied by dates, warm milk, juices, bread, and traditional Moroccan pancakes.
At the table, instead of a fork and knife, Moroccans use a small piece of bread to soak up the tasty sauce of the tagine. In Morocco, bread, or khubz, is sacred. If you accidentally drop a piece from the dinner table and it falls on the ground, custom dictates that you are supposed to pick it up and kiss it.
Delicious Moroccan pastries and cookies are paired perfectly with afternoon coffee or tea. Perfumed with nuts, fruits, and spices, the delicate sweets are truly out of this world. Try Mhancha, a traditional Moroccan pastry filled with almonds, and perfumed with orange-blossom water. It’s the perfect ending to your sumptuous Moroccan feast.
14-Day Signature Morocco – Holiday of a Liftime
7-Day Morocco Foodie Tour