During your stay in Morocco, your taste buds will quite likely be in for an extremely pleasant surprise as many popular Moroccan dishes are simply delicious. One internationally renowned chef called Moroccan cuisine ‘one of the truly great cuisines in the world’. Rich spices such as cumin, coriander, saffron, chillies, dried ginger, cinnamon and paprika are used in every Moroccan kitchen. Not the Mediterranean taste for mild, tame food here, fiery dishes stand out in the menu. Take the spices back with you if you like – buy the Harissa and Ras el Hanout, mixtures of 10 to 100 spices. Each vendor has his own special recipe that has remained in their family for generations and no two tastes alike!
Pastilla is the national dish in Morocco – this is a delicious flaky pastry that has sweet and savoury flavours– it can be stuffed with chicken or pigeon meat and is served with a dusting of icing sugar and cinnamon to boot. The combination of sweet and salty flavours gives it an unbeatable edge and is what makes it so interesting to the palate.
A widely available cheap-and-filling dish is Harira, a lentil based broth with meat stock and vegetables, the traditional soup for Ramadan.Tagine is a meat and vegetable stew cooked with slow TLC (tender loving care!) in an earthenware pot. Couscous (granular semolina) with meat, vegetables and a spicy sauce is a national favourite, and the one Moroccan dish you are most likely to have come across outside of the country. Lamb is the most popular meat followed by chicken and pigeon. Grilled lamb brochettes and roast chicken fries (French fries) are also common. Lemon preserved in a salt-lemon juice adds a special flavour to many chicken and pigeon dishes across Morocco. Fish is served grilled or stewed with savoury nuts as topping. Seafood is plentiful along the coast and fresh and dry fruit are popular desserts.
A special note must be made of the incredible range of sweets available in Morocco – these include sinful French pastries and more traditional Moroccan sweetmeats.