As you’ve probably worked out by now, Morocco’s a world apart from what most of us are used to. People dress differently, they talk differently, they definitely barter differently – and it’s absolutely fantastic.
It’s the same story at mealtimes too. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a good chippy on any street corner, and there’s no hint of a roast anywhere.
So before you commit to heading to this colourful country, make sure you’re au fait with what you might be eating – fussy eaters beware!
Hearty meals and meaty mains in Morocco
Let’s start with the classic, tagine. With plenty of delicious flavours and feels, there’s nothing too scary here, making it a great place to start for the less adventurous eaters.
Slow-cooked and stew-like, these meaty meals often include both fruit and vegetables in the mix – so you can get your five a day while you enjoy some seriously sumptuous and spicy flavours.
It’s usually paired with couscous in one form or other, though you won’t often find a plain bowl of it anywhere. Infused with spices, fruits and all sorts of secrets, these jewelled side dishes will take your tagine to another level – make sure you fill your boots at lunchtime!
Food from the sea
Prefer a prawn? Seafood more your thing? Morocco meets the Atlantic in the north, so you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to eating fish.
There’s fish chermoula, delicious flaky chunks of freshly-cooked white fish that’s been marinated in the perfect mixture of oil, lemon juice, different herbs and spices, garlic and salt. Depending on where you are, you can get it in tagine form, complete with juices and couscous to soak up the flavours. Alternatively, you might find your fish has been grilled on a bed of vegetables or with a side of chickpeas.
If you’re partial to pastry, you’ll enjoy a Moroccan pie, or a “pastilla” as the Berbers put it. This delightful dish is cooked with warqa dough and chock-full of calamari, shrimp and fish that have usually been tossed with a zesty Chinese vermicelli filling.
Starters and snacks in Morocco
If you’re setting out on an action-packed adventure across the desert or mountains, food’s your fuel. The temperature drops to an average of -4°C at night, so you’ll need some warmer alternatives that can soothe your soul and pep you up for another day’s travel.
Harira’s a great option, typically a tomato-based soup laden with lentils and chickpeas – perfect if you’re after something warming after a long day of hiking. It’s fragrant, super tasty and absolutely ideal for those chilly evenings (yes, even the desert gets cold!)
You’re going to need snacks to keep you going throughout the day too though. Keep an eye out for maakouda and brochettes as you go.
Maakouda are small potato cakes, seasoned with a variety of spices, and the perfect pick-me-up any time you’re feeling a little bit peckish. Brochettes are skewers of meat – usually lamb or chicken – accompanied by a garlic sauce. Yum!
You’ll find both at your typical street market all over the country.
Customary and traditional cuisine in Morocco
If you really want to experience authentic Morocco at its finest, why not throw yourself in and try some of their more, err, unique dishes?
They may look a little unappetising to the usual western eye, but these North African delicacies are more regular than a Maccies in Morocco…
Stuffed spleen, anyone?
It might be different, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try a stuffed camel, lamb or cow spleen! Filled with rice and well-seasoned ground beef or lamb, the spleen is then roasted to perfection. And we actually don’t mind it!
If you’re brave enough to try a spleen, how about a steamed sheep’s head?
If you’re lucky enough to visit Morocco during Eid, you might be treated to this unusual delicacy for dinner.
Salted, cured, then steamed for up to 4 hours, the sheep’s head is usually accompanied with chickpeas and Moroccan flatbread. Most people eat it with their hands.
One for the Bucket List?
Sugary treats and desserts in Morocco
No meal of sheep’s head and spleen is complete without a little dessert to follow up. But what can you expect when it comes to Morocco’s sweeter dishes?
Sweet Moroccan cuisine typically follows French techniques, thrown in with more robust flavours. Think pastry, spices and fruit!
Baklava is very common, and Chebakia is certainly one to look out for. Deep fried dough that’s like a rose and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
You can often get slices of fresh oranges speckled in cinnamon or Beghrir; a spongier version of the classic crêpe – so soft it melts in your mouth!
And, of course, there’s no better way to top it all off (sheep’s head included) than with a pot of fresh mint tea. Cheers to that.
If Morocco is on your Bucket List, why not check out all of our Moroccan Trips that we offer.
If you need a bit more convincing, head over to our Instagram to see some of the stunning sights from our Moroccan trips and other destinations!