Couscous, tajine, pastilla and much more… Moroccan cuisine is refined and incredibly delicious thanks to its variety of spices and freshness; it is often sweet and spicy at the same time. Apart from Syria, no other Oriental country has been influenced by so many different cultures as Morocco. Therefore Morocco’s cuisine has been influenced by many different influences, be it Berber, African, Arabic, Andalusian or Jewish. The result is a great variety of tasty dishes.
Different origins of Moroccan cuisine
The national dish couscous based on semolina combined with meat and/or vegetables goes back to the Berber and Black Africans. Berbers also invented the tajine pot. In the course of their conquest, the Muslim Arabs brought with them the subtleties of oriental cuisine: Seasoning with ginger, saffron and nutmeg came from Baghdad’s Caliphs. When the Muslim Arabs and Jews were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the Reconquest of 1492, they brought Andalusian influence to Moroccan cuisine. They are the origin of spicy-sweet dishes such as chicken pastilla: a kind of filo pastry strudel (oriental puff pastry, known by the Turks as yufka pastry) filled with a chicken pastry refined with almonds and sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar. Of course, the French also left their culinary mark during the colonization of Morocco.
On the Moroccan souks and markets, you can discover endless exotic spices, be it cumin, cinnamon, ginger root, saffron, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, pimento, but also herbs like coriander, mint or smooth parsley. A spice mixture makes it especially easy to season food, the so-called Ras El-Hanout. It is a combination of about 25 different spices and is widely used in Moroccan dishes such as couscous and tajine. Of course, you can also season other vegetables and meat dishes as well as pasta sauces with it.
Morocco’s infinite variety
Moreover, the country is blessed with a rich vegetation. In Morocco, almost everything grows that the gourmet’s heart desires: oranges, lemons, apricots, peaches, melons, strawberries, apples or pears; in addition, there are countless varieties of vegetables such as carrots, courgettes, eggplants, peppers and artichokes. Not to forget olives, dates, figs, almonds and pistachios. Well, is your mouth already watering? Can you imagine how varied and tasty Moroccan cuisine is? No?! On our trip ‚Magical Morocco‘ we visit selected restaurants where we taste the delicious Moroccan dishes. During a Moroccan cooking course in Marrakech we feel what it really means to taste and smell Morocco. The cooking course is my personal highlight of the trip.
The next trip ‚Magical Morocco‘ will take place in spring 2020. Write to me if you are interested: