8 Moroccan Food You Must Try When Traveling to Morocco
Moroccan Couscous by the Spruce Eats
When you think of Morocco, you might picture the lovely city of Casablanca in the ’40s during Hollywood’s golden era with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Still, the exotic North African country’s golden years are just getting started.
Morocco received 13 million people last year because the Imperial City of Fez, the blue streets of Chefchaouen, and the architecture in Marrakesh are unforgettable. From the blue Mediterranean coast to the never-ending Sahara desert, Morocco has an experience suited to everyone.
If impressive landscapes, exotic culture, and gorgeous architecture weren’t enough to visit Morocco, you’ll be more than convinced when you see the food. Take a Morocco cuisine tour and experience the country with all your senses. Morocco is a foodie’s paradise.
Here are 8 Moroccan foods you have to try when traveling to Morocco.
1. Tajines, Morocco’s Signature Dish
The most famous Moroccan dish is the tajine, but the tajine is not one dish but many. Slow-cooked stews, prepared in terracotta cone-shaped tajine dishware, allows for all the ingredients to cook through as the flavors integrate, and the juices are seasoned and absorbed. Enjoying these dishes is worth your whole trip to Morocco.
Regardless of the main protein, that can be anything from lamb to chicken; specialized cooks season the steaming tajines beautifully with any combination of ginger, cumin, cinnamon, saffron, paprika and turmeric. Excellent vegetarian renditions exist too, and they’re as hearty and satisfying as any meat alternative.
2. Harira, A Hearty Soup
Moroccans love their soups, and you will too! The most famous is Harira.You’ll find this dense broth in both restaurants and street food stands, and it’s a whole meal in itself.
A tomato-based broth is livened with hearty chickpeas and lentils and can have noodles or rice. Celery, coriander, and parsley give flavor to the soup, and you can find in it either hard-boiled eggs or fork-tender chunks of lamb or beef. Every spoonful is deeply satisfying, and many variations exist, so each bowl of steaming Harira is an adventure.
3. Couscous, Morocco’s Staple Food
Couscous is the Morocco food staple. It’s been around for at least 2,000 years, and you won’t believe the flavor intensity and balance cooks achieve with the apparently simple crushed durum wheat semolina.
In Morocco, couscous is cooked to perfection, always moist and ‘al dente.’ Yet couscous is a blank canvas for other flavors to shine through, since it’s often topped with a hearty stew or veggies.
Couscous is a fantastic vegetarian option in Morocco; it’s not only satisfying; every bite is a burst of flavor and textures. Steamy slow-cooked meat and vegetables are one of the most common couscous toppings, and although it’s considered an entrée, it can be massively fulfilling. There’s more; couscous often has the cheapest cost of Moroccan food.
4. Moroccan Salads, More Than a Salad
Salads might mean dull tossed leafy greens for most of us, but in Morocco, the salad course is an array of stews, dips, and veggies of incredible diversity.
Expect at least half a dozen small plates including tuna, olives, hard-boiled eggs, lots of aubergines (zaalouk), sautéed veggies and green beans. Warm and cold, the Moroccan salad course is nothing less than a feast, and the full-blown presentation is reserved for memorable occasions and special guests, like yourself.
5. Pastilla, Glorious Stuffed Puff Pastries
One of the most comforting and decadent dishes in the Moroccan repertoire is the pastilla. Who can refuse a slice of a flaky puff pastry baked treat filled with a seasoned and tender pigeon?
Crunchy and buttery, the dough is often glazed with heartwarming cinnamon and sugar. The traditional pigeon filling is now rare, but it’s successfully substituted with chicken, minced red meat or fish.
6. Moroccan Bread, the Best In The World
Bread in Morocco is not an afterthought, it’s part of every meal, and this is no ordinary bread, we’re talking about 8,000 years of history behind every loaf.
Most of the bread in Morocco is still baked in wood-fired communal ovens, always freshly made from the grain to your table.
The flat, round bread, Khobz, is the most common, and it’s always pillowy and soft, but the name you want to remember is the Msemmen. The flaky flatbread, fluffy and crispy on the edges, is bliss, and you’ll want to have it with every meal.
7. Mint Tea, A Fresh Delight
With all this food, you’ll surely get thirsty, and one of your better options to quench your thirst is the Moroccan mint tea.
It all starts with the famous gunpowder green tea, green tea hand-rolled into small pellets. They then combine the tea with fresh mint leaves, sugar and water in a refreshing drink that goes great with the sweet and savory food of Morocco.Traditionally, Moroccan mint tea is very sweet, so make sure you adjust it to your taste.
Found in every corner of the country, you’ll find it easy to revitalize yourself with a proper mint tea but visiting a tea house in Casablanca is a fantastic approach to know more about the caffeinated leaves.
8. Hulwayat, A Sweet Ending
Because no trip to Morocco is complete without enjoying their sweet treat repertoire, make sure you never skip dessert.
From a great variety of treats, all worthy of being on this list, we invite you to try the hulwayat. If you had to choose one thing for what to eat in Morocco, this would be it.
Close your eyes and picture a stack of crispy pastry, a hefty addition of almonds and custard sauce between them, and topped with more custard sauce or creme patissiere, always flavored with orange blossom water. Listen to that crunch! And the flavor is so comforting, the hulwayat is up there with the best desserts on the planet.
Be careful with this one; it might make you want to stay in the country indefinitely. We can say this about all the food in Morocco.
There’s More, Much More
This is just a drop in the bucket because Moroccan dishes are incredibly varied. From streetfood to soups and salads, and from tajines to pastries — it’s all gorgeous, and the cost of Moroccan food is very well priced, to say the least.
Morocco is Northern Africa’s food capital, and the cuisine alone is worth the visit. Sahara Sky Tours offers all kinds of cultural activities including cooking classes. Taking a Morocco Cuisine tour with us and experiencing Moroccan foods is the best way of exploring the country.
Morocco food will change your life, and you’ll soon be an expert on what to eat in Morocco.