Sunday, March 3, 2013

Food in Morocco

After almost a year of Italian fare, we’d been hanging out for Moroccan food – tagines and cous cous here we come!

Night 1; lamb & fig tagine for me, chicken cous cous for Marino. Night 2; beef, almond and prune tagine for me, chicken, lemon and olive tagine for Marino. After night 3, the tagine count was 4, and cous cous 2. It was at this stage we realized that we’d be eating tagines and cous cous for the next 2 weeks.

That’s rabbit – not camel!

Our best tagine was in Mollywood (Ouarzazate) at a small restaurant overlooking the dry arid landscape. We were the only ones in the restaurant which featured a camel tagine on the menu. As we were to ride camels over the next 2 days it didn’t seem right to be dining on them. We decided on the rabbit, lemon and olive tagine – mmmm delicious!!

Like a true Moroccan
Being a muslim country (95% of the population is muslim) it’s also fairly dry in regards to wine. I had decided to have a dry month and abstain entirely from alcohol so this didn’t bother me; Marino on the other hand joined in out of necessity. So it was mint tea, mint tea and more mint tea for the both of us.

When our minibus broke down, to kill time waiting for our new bus we were invited to a local house where we enjoyed mint tea made by a local (apparently the best tea maker in the village),served with platters of some of the best dates and sun dried almonds I’ve ever tasted. We loved the mint tea and the whole ceremony of making and pouring it. The first 2 cups are poured back into the pot (to help dissolve the sugar) then poured from as high as you can to create a bubbly head on the tea, then the tea is served to the person on one's right.  At the end of our 2 weeks we both had quite a knack for it!

I love a food market in any country and Morocco does not disappoint. The local market (called a souk) in Essaouira was pumping from early morning to late at night. There were mountains of olives in various forms, dried, with chilli, without chilli, preserved lemons, spices, dried fruits it went on and on! The butchers were a sight to be seen. Every scrap of the animal was on offer and all hanging on hooks for the world to see – including goats heads! We shopped at the fish market where you could select a fish and for a small fee (Dh80 = $10AUD all up) have it cleaned, grilled and served with a side of salad and chips. A bargain and most delicious.

Preserved lemons

Olives, olives, olives

Anyone for meat?


In Essaouira we joined a cookery class for a day, where of course cous cous was on the menu. To our surprise cous cous is not the quick 5-min-add-water-then-fluff-up dish we make at home. It’s a 2 hour process which required steaming the cous cous 3 times! I’m pleased to note I now know what to do with the enormous tagine we received as a wedding present. 

I look forward to serving you this when we get home

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