The traditional cuisine of Morocco has been flavoured by the Berber tribes of the mountains with their couscous and tajines, the Arabs from Persia who arrived in the 7th century bringing spices, the Moors on their return from Andalucia after the Christians pushed them out bringing olive oil and citrus fruits, and more recently, the French.
A surprising 22% of the land in Morocco is cultivated (surprising considering the mountains and desert present), growing olives, almonds, citrus, grapes, dates, pulses, vegetables, sugar beet, sugar cane, cotton and oilseeds.
Meats produced are predominantly lamb and chicken, while the long Mediterranean and Atlantic coast lines produce an array of seafood. You are unlikely of course to find pork here!
Although vegetables are widely available, vegetarian meals may be difficult to find, particularly away from the tourist area.
The country is just about self sufficient in food production with seasonal climate variations causing shortages in some years.
Traditional Moroccan cuisine includes-
An authentic vegetable couscous
Made from semolina (coarsely ground hard wheat with the bran removed) and is a basic Berber food and is served with meat, vegetables, and possibly nuts and fruit. The traditional method of making couscous is a lengthy process and in some cases, restaurants may require it to be ordered in advance.
A traditional chicken and lemon tajine
Tarjnes being cooked on individual wood burning cookers
Another series of old Berber dishes, slow cooked in a shallow earthenware pot of the same name having a conical lid, often made with lamb or chicken plus vegetables. Tajines are mildly spiced with saffron, cumin and coriander giving a distinctive flavour.
Chicken or Pigeon in a rich lemon souce, layered between fine layers of pastry
An important part of any Moroccan meal, this will be a flat bread which is broken and use as a tool to help eating and to soak up gravy.
This is a thick broth or soup containing lamb or chicken, lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes onions and herbs. Harira is traditionally eaten in the evening during Ramadan, to break the fast.
Although not introduced until the 19th century, tea is the national drink, taken at various times of the day and after meals, always flavoured with mint, and usually sweetened with plenty of sugar.
The tea is traditionally made in ornate metal tea pots and served in a glasses, poured from a height to make it frothy.
Food and Drink for the Tourist
Morocco welcomes tourists and in the tourist areas you will find a variety of international food and drink available in the more modern tourist areas.