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Thursday, August 29, 2013

MOROCCO National Food

Moroccan cuisine is extremely refined, thanks to Morocco's interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries. It is known for its mix of North African, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking styles. Moroccan cuisine has been subject to Berber, Moorish, and Arab influences. Often combining sweet and salty elements, Moroccan dishes burst with flavor. Here are some of the most popular national dishes to try during your trip to Morocco.


A tagine is a historically Berber dish from North Africa that is named after the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked. It is a stew of meat (usually beef, lamb or chicken) or fish with vegetables, spices and perhaps fruits and nuts, slowly cooked on a bed of oil in an earthenware pot. It is one of Morocco’s most visible dishes (because of the conical topped dish in which it is cooked). Popular versions include beef with almonds and quinces, lamb with apricots, and chicken with lemons and olives.

Tagines are primarily used to slow-cook savory stews and vegetable dishes. Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tagine traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables to buttery-tenderness. This method of cooking is very practical in areas where water supplies are limited or where public water is not yet available.


Couscous is a traditional North African dish of semolina (granules of durum wheat) which is cooked by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Probably the most well-known dish of Moroccan cuisine is couscous. When you order a couscous entree in a restaurant, you can expect a plethora of slow-cooked meat and vegetables along with a heaping plate of steamed couscous, little round granules of semolina wheat. 

In Moroccan households and at restaurants, one large plate of couscous is often shared by several people. To eat it in true Moroccan style, use your right hand to pick up some of the couscous and some of the meat and vegetable mixture. Then toss it lightly in your hand to form it into a ball and pop the whole ball in your mouth. In Morocco it is also served, sometimes at the end of a meal or just by itself, as a delicacy called "seffa". The couscous is usually steamed several times until it is very fluffy and pale in color. It is then sprinkled with almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Traditionally, this dessert will be served with milk perfumed with orange flower water, or it can be served plain with buttermilk in a bowl as a cold light soup for supper. 


Pastilla is a traditional Moroccan dish, an elaborate meat pie traditionally made of squab (fledgling pigeons). As squabs are often hard to get, shredded chicken is more often used today; pastilla can also use fish or offal as a filling. Pastilla is generally served as a starter at the beginning of special meals. Just one slice is rich enough to fill you up, so be sure to budget your stomach space for the main course!

It is a pie which combines sweet and salty flavours; a combination of crisp layers of the crêpe-like werqa dough (a thinner cousin of the phyllo dough), savory meat slow-cooked in broth and spices and shredded, and a crunchy layer of toasted and ground almonds, cinnamon, and sugar.


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