I have to say, I was impressed by Moroccan cuisine. I heard stories saying Moroccan food was mediocre at best and other stories that it’s great. After my first hand experience, I liked it! I would love to go back for more and I even took up trying to cook it myself!
Number 1 favourite thing, mint tea. Sure, this isn’t exactly “eats” but it needs to be mentioned (in great detail). I doubt you will ever travel to Morocco without drinking at least one glass of mint tea. It was waiting for us at our Riad when we first arrived, served with what tasted like almond biscotti (I have no idea what those little cookies were, but they were good as well). Mint tea was great while relaxing after spending the morning through the Souks and makes for a fantastic after meal drink. I’m hooked! Served in what looks like an oversized shot glass, you have to pour it from the pot high about the glass to create the traditional foamy top. I definitely pick up some mint tea before leaving as well as a tea pot and glass to enjoy Moroccan mint tea at home.
Yes. The bread was good enough to get it’s own section. Sometimes you just want a little snack between meals. This is where the bread comes in! On the streets surrounding our Riad, there were lots of small stores that just kinda hung out of the walls of the buildings – a few of them selling bread and brightly packaged snacks. Stopping at one, we picked up a couple khobz (the round loaves of bread), soda, and sure, why not some kind of strange packaged snack food. But really, it was all about the bread. Each loaf was 5MAD (~$0.67 CAD) and it was AMAZING! It had a chewy crust and a soft middle. We ended up going back to the same guy a few times during our week in Marrakech.
Tajines aren’t so much a type of food itself and more of a way to cook. A tajine is a type of pot essentially that is recognizable by its cone-shaped lid. The lid of the tajine traps steam and keeps in all the deliciousness while cooking. We had one almost every night for dinner. A full meal is cooked within the tajine pot. Meat, vegetables, and lots of various spices are cooked together similar to what I would think of as a stew with less liquid and less muddled together. We had tajines with chicken, lamb, beef, and fish. It’s really a broad term and there are lots of variations since it’s all about the pot, but I was never disappointed with them. My dad even bought a tajine and, thanks to our non-traditional ways, made our Thanksgiving dinner with it.
A famous staple of the night market. It wasn’t going to be a complete night market experience without giving it a try. Stalls lining the outside of the plaza had piles of snails being stirred with steam billowing into the night air. At 5MAD (~$0.67 CAD) it’s too cheap to not give it a try. We bought 2 bowls for the 5 of us to try. We had already eaten a proper dinner so this was more of a snack than a meal. I admit, my favourite part of the snails was using a toothpick to get the snail out of the shell. They were a little chewier than I thought they would be and salty in taste. Will I ever go out of my way to eat snails again like I’ve done with the tea and tajines? Probably not. But they were good for the experience and I would recommend a try if you find yourself in Morocco.
Like I’ve noticed with most sweets boughten outside North America, Moroccan sweets are not as sweet… That was a lot of “sweet” in one sentence. In North America, we seem to be bombarded with sugary candy that is at the top level of sweetness humans can handle. The rest of the world seem to be a bit more mild when it comes to sweets. But just because they are not as sweet doesn’t mean they are any less tasty! I have a huge sweet tooth and love trying local sweets. We ended up buying 2 boxes from the night market at Jemaa el Fna for about 20MAD (~$2.60 CAD). We had a mixed box so I can’t tell you what any of the flavours were. Some tasted sweet like honey, some had a nutty taste, some had a little chocolate in them. It was a mystery box of deliciousness.