Touring Morocco – A Taste of Moroccan Cuisine
Last year my parents were on the road a fair bit and one of their trips took them to Moroccan. My mother, Suzanne Anderton, was kind enough to contribute this article to GLV!
Aching for the exotic? Willing to explore sights and foods you’ve only read about? Then go to Morocco-a well-spring of antiquity about to propel itself into the 21st Century.
In this amazing country the true meaning of Moroccan food hits you. A blend of French, Berber and Arabian cuisine is cheaply available at in local street side cafes, elegant hotels, kitchens where the women chefs (Dadas) prepare traditional dishes, and the market food stalls where you may not eat unless you have an iron constitution.
With eyes wide open and an accepting mind, travel the expanses of sand, rock and stone deserts, the High Atlas Mountains, and rolling coastines, where you’ll witness the nomads tending goats and sheep while a donkey stands patiently by. There’ll be a cluster of beehives among native herbs or mimosa trees and that same honey will be at your hotel table to be poured on spongy pancakes, or fried bread made from delicious squares of folded dough.
Traditional tagines of chicken, lamb, fish and beef are loaded with local vegetables – always the onions at the base where they burn a little and give a smoky flavour to the whole dish.
Casablanca was our jumping off point for a three week circuit of the country. Bargain for some loose clothing in the market,or just buy a scarf or two and you’ll feel like, and be welcomed like, a local.
You may not eat a severed camel’s head, cow’s brains, or chew on a goat leg at the souk in Fez, but the couscous and tagines will wow you with their intense spices and regional variations.
Fez is the gourmet centre of the country. Espresso is divine, Nos Nos –a latte served in a small glass is addictive and any place in the middle of nowhere will serve an excellent coffee. Iced mint lemonade replaces a cold beer which is sadly hard to come by. Mint and green teas are a traditional welcome – ask for the non sweet version if you don’t like to drink sugar disguised as tea! Morocco has an emerging wine industry and reasonable reds are offered at more expensive restaurants. Olives red, green and black are served at every meal.
Watch women peel shrimp at the docks of Essaouira where sardines are the largest export fish or sit in the shade and witness this fascinating mix of Berber/ Arabian/ French/old and new ,tastes and social mores go by.
Don’t miss Morocco!