Travel through Moroccan food: A photo essay

Moroccan food: I could not stop thinking about it since I wrote a photo essay last week about couscous history on my Travel The Middle East blog. Those succulent tagines and fluffy Couscous Fridays when I studied abroad at Al Akhawayn University…oh how I miss thee! For this reason, we are Traveling Through Moroccan food on Cultural Tidbits Monday this week 😀

Couscous

Moroccan food, couscous

One of the many variations of Moroccan couscous: Sweet and savory! (Photo: Khonsali, Wiki)

Known as the National Dish of Morocco worldwide, couscous has even been adopted by the French as a traditional dish. Initially a Berber pasta dish made of semolina, it dates back to the 9th Century. Couscous can be smothered with a variety of toppings, sweet and savory. Combinations include sweet almonds, sugar, and cinnamon to savory lamb tagine on top. However, the most common is a savory-sweet combo, including several vegetables, raisins, tons of onions, and even legumes. Yum!

Tagine

Moroccan food, chicken tagine

Savory chicken tagine. The top covers the bottom while being cooked (Photo: Boris van Hoytema, Flickr)

Moroccans really love to mix the savory and the sweet. This is also seen on this other Moroccan food staple: Tagines. Another delicious Berber dish, they receive their name from the special clay pots they are cooked in (pictured above).

But, what is the tagine dish about? They are slow-cooked stews usually accompanied by either olives, quinces, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, and/or nuts, with fresh or preserved lemons (Wikipedia). The spices used make tagines extremely aromatic. Indeed, eating a tagine is a full-sensory experience: All 5 senses are engaged!

I particularly like to eat tagine with bread instead of utensils — somehow, this makes it taste even better to me 🙂 Just so you have an idea of what this flavorful concoction is like: Spices added may be cinnamon, saffron, ginger, turmeric, cumin, paprika, pepper, and the spice blend ras el hanout spice blend (Wikipedia). Moreover, traditional combinations also include chicken or lamb.

Harira

Moroccan food, hearty harira

heartier-than-usual harira (Photo: George Wesley & Bonita Dannells, Flickr)

Yet another Moroccan food that I would eat almost daily. Harira is particularly popular during Ramadan in Morocco, as it is one of the first dishes eaten during iftar (“breaking of the fast”), alongside hard-boiled eggs (dipped in salt and cummin) and a plethora of sweets.

Harira is a thick tomato soup with chickpeas, lentils, herbs (celery, parsley, coriander), spices (saffron, ginger, pepper), and sometimes noodles. Typically, small pieces of chicken, lamb or beef are added to the ingredients list as well. And yes, you guessed it: It is yet another Berber dish!

Other Moroccan food favorites: Pastilla, Mechoui, and Merguez

Of course, there’s no possible way I could describe each Moroccan dish on a single post! For this reason, I decided to post a couple of photos of other Moroccan traditional dishes with a short description as caption. Bon apetit!

Moroccan food, pastilla

Pastilla, one of the most unique Moroccan dishes. It is very sweet and slightly salty, stuffed with chicken or pigeon meat, cinnamon and then typically sprinkled with white powder sugar on top (Photo: Mayu Shimizu, Flickr)

Mechoui, Moroccan food

Mechoui, Moroccan roasted lamb (Photo: freecandy13, Flickr)

Merguez, Moroccan food

Merguez, spicy Moroccan lamb sausage (Photo:Andrew Scrivani, Flickr)

Have you ever had Moroccan food? What’s your favorite dish? Why?

18 thoughts on “Travel through Moroccan food: A photo essay

    • That’s great! I wonder whether those Moroccan dishes had a stronger French influence Which dishes did you eat there? I’m curious!

  1. It all looks amazing Maria – especially the Tagine and Harira. I love the combination of savory and sweet mingled into a single dish. I also agree with you, eating with bread to soak everything up is much more enjoyable than having to eat with a spoon or fork!

    • Same here! Although savory and sweet were more acquired tastes for me–I used to hate that combination. Morocco taught me well, though 😉 glad you liked the post!

  2. Yo vivi en marruecos por 2 anos y medio, y la comida y su jente se quedaron en mi corazon. Comi todas las comidas de ese bello pais, y tengo las mas bellas amistades de ahi. Viva marruecos.

  3. ohhh you just remind me old days of mine, I visited 2 years ago and really enjoyed Moroccan food a lot. Yes these are mouth watering but if you once smell them then no one can stop you to eat them.

  4. Why did I click the link to this post when I’m hungry at 5am 😐

    Hehe. Hmmm.. it seems like Morocco is haunting me for the past few days. I’ll take a trip to Morocco into consideration once my trip back to the UK pushes through! 😀

    • It is so easy to go to Morocco from UK! Easyjet has frequent, cheap flights that way. So you got no excuse to skip it while in the UK 😉

      Funny though, the same thing that is happening to you is happening to me, but with Asia: Particularly Asia. Ahh, I can’t wait ti be able to escape and finally see that part of the world!

  5. I lived in France for a year with a French family during high school, and the father was Moroccan. I loved the flavours, and how light the meals were but filling too.

    • I wish I had a similar experience while in high school! And I agree with you – Moroccan meals are light, yet filling and aromatic. 🙂

    • my boyfriend his moroccan well im live with some of then roommate they are a wonderful people and the food awesome they spoil me with the food the flavors very aromatic very delicious have some similitud a puertorican food but we mix everything with rice they do with bread and everybody eat from the same plate its a beautiful costume they have all of us seat at the table a the same time for dinner

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