Greetings! This is my second Morocco-inspired post and it's about food. The first post about the sights that I've seen in Rabat and Volubilis was posted here. More to come on Fez, Marrakesh, and Casablanca.
Before my trip to Morocco, I didn't know how much I would enjoy or dislike the local cuisine. I wasn't too concerned about it because in general, I'm willing to try new dishes from another culture when I travel. Plus, I was staying in hotels, so I thought I could 'wing' it if necessary. It turns out that I discovered and ate so many delicious meals in Morocco. They definitely enhanced my time there and deserve a post on my blog.
My hotel room rates included daily buffet breakfasts with all kinds of hot and cold choices so one meal was taken care of. The croissants, pains au chocolate, fresh pressed juices, tea and coffee were very good. Adding a choice of yogurt, cereal, hot items, or fruit, and I was ready for sightseeing for the next few hours!
WHAT ABOUT LUNCH, SNACKS, OR DINNER?
After my first lunch in Morocco, I knew I'd be eating well and inexpensively for the rest of my trip. I'm sharing photos of some of the dishes I tried in Morocco, from appetizers to desserts, and some street food, too.
In case you want to buy snacks, or groceries, the French grocery chain Carrefour has stores in all of the Moroccan cities that I visited, and the souk (local market or bazaar) was a lot of fun to browse what's on sale.
Appetizers: Small dishes, or tapas in Morocco, are great to try or share. Olives are common, they come in green, red, or black and were tastier than what I have at home.
|Tapas: carrots, beets, olives, rice, Moroccan grains|
|Olives, prunes, and lemon slices|
Soups: The butternut squash soup that I had was super hot and delicious. There were other vegetable soups as well.
|Butternut squash soup|
Salads and vegetables: All kinds of fresh salads and cooked vegetables were available. I chose to eat well-cooked food only.
|Salad choices with couscous in the upper right corner|
Meat dishes: Chicken, beef, and lamb are common meats on the menu. I thoroughly enjoyed the grilled chicken on skewers, served with rice and vegetables in Meknes but the beef tajine (or tagine) in Fez was definitely the highlight. The tajine is a vessel with a cylindrical top that slow cooks the meat inside until it’s fall-apart tender.
|Grilled chicken on skewers, rice & vegetables|
|Beef tajine with pitted prunes, almonds & onions|
Pasta: I had a tomato basil penne pasta, and a chicken mushroom sauce penne pasta on two different days. They were delicious and inexpensive, under CAD$8 each (about US$6) in a full service restaurant.
|Tomato basil penne pasta in Marrakesh|
Seafood: The grilled shrimp on skewers with accompanying grilled vegetables at an oceanfront restaurant in Casablanca were top notch.
|Grilled shrimp on skewers and vegetables|
Desserts: All kinds of pastries, hmm, which to try first?
Drinks: I drank bottled water most of the time when I was in Morocco. Hot mint tea was common but there was also many tea varieties. Soft drinks, beer, coffee, wine, and fresh juices were readily available.
Fruit: Sweet citrus fruits such as oranges, clementines, tangerines, grapefruits, plus prickly pears, pomegranates, figs, dates, and plums were abundant.
|Fruit stand in Marrakesh|
Street food: Although I chose not to eat street food when I was in Morocco, it was fun to observe the street vendors and their customers. For example, one driver stopped his car and walked to the prickly pear vendor. He ordered a few prickly pears. The vendor cut the fruit open to serve on the spot. After having a few, the customer paid and walked back to his car to drive away.
|Prickly (or cactus) pears for sale in Fez|
|Sugar cane juice vendor in Rabat|
|Moroccan bread for sale in Marrakesh|
|Tajines in Marrakesh|
I enjoyed trying the different dishes in Morocco. One glance at the variety of herbs and spices sold in the local market, and I knew I was in for a delicious culinary adventure.
|Herbs and spices in Marrakesh souk|
Are you an easy eater or a picky eater? Would you give new food a try or stick with what you know at home? I'd love to hear your comments.