Morocco is full of rich and exotic flavors, from blends of saffron and cinnamon to salty olives and fragrant spices of unknown origin. Berber, Arab, French and Jewish cultures have all influenced the North African country’s cuisine, blending together to create intriguing flavor combinations.
Whatever dish you choose to try, you can be sure that your tastebuds won’t be bored. In this blog, I’ve compiled a list of ten foods to try in Morocco, all of which can be finished off with a glass of fresh mint tea.
Ten Foods to Try in Morocco
1.Briouat (or briwat)
A briouat is a Moroccan puff pastry that is stuffed with either a sweet or savory filling. Upon checking in to our riad, we asked our host for recommendations on what Moroccan dishes to try, and briouats were first on the list. We sampled briouats loaded with cheese. However, the almond briouats, made with honey, cinnamon, and sesame seeds, sound incredibly delicious for a sweet snack!
To leave Morocco without having tasted a traditional tajine would be a crime. This signature dish is essentially a slow-cooked stew braised in a clay cooking pot (tajine) at low temperatures. This particular cooking method results in ultra-tender meat and perfectly steamed vegetables. Most tajines are made with chicken, lamb, or kefta, a type of Moroccan meatball. It’s not uncommon to add dried fruit, such as dates or apricots, or even nuts to the tajine.
This tomato and lentil-based soup, infused with an array of aromatic spices, is often referred to as the soup of Morocco. Filled with chickpeas, fresh herbs, rice, and the occasional piece of lamb or beef. Harira is a staple food, typically consumed during the month of Ramadan, though you can still get your hands on a bowl throughout the entire year.
Crusty Moroccan bread, or khobz, is a staple when it comes to dining. Many Moroccan families bring their dough to communal wood-fired ovens to bake their bread!
A traditional Moroccan breakfast usually consists of bread served with honey and an assortment of jams. However, no morning meal can truly be complete without baghir, North African Berber pancakes. Small, spongey, and filled with hundreds of tiny holes, these pancakes are a delightful morning treat.
This scrumptious Moroccan delicacy is similar to a pie stuffed with savory chicken, and sometimes even pigeon. Made from fine sheets of pastry, very much like phyllo dough, Pastilla layers a mixture of meat, spices, onions, parsley and egg between each warqa (nearly transparent pastry dough). Some traditional versions of the pastry even sprinkle sugar on top!
7. Moroccan salad
In Morocco, salads differ greatly from what we have grown accustomed to, and are usually served with a heaping side of bread. The vegetables that make up the salad can be either hot or cold, raw or cooked, and seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices. Variations include:
- Zaalouk – pureed eggplant mixed with tomatoes and spices
- Tomato jam – roasted tomatoes blended with honey, cinnamon and orange flower water creating more of a jam or spread
- Taktouka – taktouka is a cooked Moroccan salad made up of fresh red and green peppers, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil
- Matbucha – a spicy combination of roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and chilli
These delectable kebabs, rubbed in salt and spices, are grilled to perfection over an open flame in markets across Morocco. Made of chicken, lamb or beef, brochettes are zesty, flavorful and make for a tasty meal.
Only the most delicious, sweet, caramel-y dates can be found in Morocco. The date palm is believed to symbolize the tree of life in the Islamic religion, therefore dates are often ceremoniously eaten to break fast during Ramadan. You can find an endless variety of dates in Morocco, and can purchase them by the kilo at many market stalls.
10. Moroccan sweets
Moroccan donuts, almond briouats, gazelle horns and more – I don’t discriminate when it comes to desserts! Many Moroccan pastries are made from ingredients like almonds and almond paste, cinnamon, orange flower water, and honey. No matter what dessert you choose, it is likely that they will be sweet, sticky and highly addicting!
There you have it, my list of ten foods to try in Morocco! Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments so I can try it during my next visit.