Taste of Morocco
Situated on the northwest coast of Africa, Morocco is one of only three countries that touches the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. For years it has been a destination point for folks from all over the world especially Europe. Some of those Europeans make up the 35 million residents that live in the country and have an influence on the local cuisine. The cuisine is mainly Berber-Moorish, European, and Mediterranean and shares a lot of the same characteristics of the rest of the North African region.
A lot of the spices that are used in Moroccan dishes are grown and produced right in Morocco. Saffron is found in Tiliouine, mint and olives in Meknes, and oranges and lemons in Fez. Along with these raw spices they utilize a lot of seasoning blends in their staple dishes.
The most famous Moroccan dish that has made its way world-wide is couscous. It is essentially a part of almost every meal in Morocco. Typically, the couscous is cooked and served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it.
Another popular dish is Pastilla, which is a meat pie made of squab (fledgling pigeons) or, since pigeons are hard to come by, it is often made with shredded chicken. It has sweet and salty flavors with its combination of a crisp layer of crepe-like werqa dough, savory meat slow-cooked in broth and spices and shredded, and a crunchy layer of toasted and ground almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Pastilla is often served at the beginning of special meals.
Harira is a soup that is eaten as a starter or light snack. a typical recipe is flour, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, onions, rice, beaten eggs, herbs (celery, parsley, and coriander), spices (mainly saffron, ginger, and pepper), a small amount of beef, lamb or chicken and a spoon or two of olive oil. Harira is a popular dish served during the month-long Islamic Ramadan.
The most popular dish served in Morocco is a historically Berber dish that is named after the special clay dish, called a tajine, that is used to make it. A Tajine is a rich stew of beef, chicken, or fish and most often includes vegetables or fruits. If you can’t find a traditional tajine you can substitute a slow cooker.
Similar to other Islamic and Northern African countries, the midday lunch is the most important. It usually includes hot and cold salads, a lamb or chicken dish (such as a tajine or pastilla), couscous topped with meat and veggies and finished with a spearmint tea. They don’t use utensils, instead preferring to use their hands and bread as a dipping and spreading tool.
Jadda Moroccan Blend
If you love Moroccan cuisine or are just curious, this is the one exotic spice blend you want. It’s very versatile and adds great color and captivating flavors to your dishes. Use it as a dry rub, for beef, chicken, pork or lamb or as a marinade with olive oil and fresh lemon juice.