Marrakech Stories and Tips

Traditional Morrocan Cuisine

steamy chicken tajine Photo, Marrakech, Morocco

One of the things I found most welcome in Marrakesh is how affordable their food is. I'd go as far as saying it's quite cheap. Even students like us could afford to eat as much as we like without feeling the credit crunch. ;p

Meals often begin with a serving of Moroccan salad, which is just really chopped tomatoes topped with parsley and some salt. It is still good though and matches perfectly with the Moroccan bread. A perfect appetizer for the coming main dish!

One traditional cuisine of Morocco is the tajine or tagine. The tajine is actually named for the dish where it is cooked and served. The traditional tajine pot is usually made of clay. It is usually painted with different colors and traditional Morrocan designs and then glazed afterwards. It is made up of a base, where the food is placed, and topped with a conical cover.

The food itself is made of slowly stewed meat to make it tender to the bite. Usual meats used are lamb, beef or chicken. Vegetables like potatoes, carrots, green peas are also used in the meal. Pitted olives are sometimes used as well.

What truly makes the tagine quite tasteful are the spices. A combination of saffron, turmeric, cumin and paprika gives it the definitive taste. When it is served, a sliver is lemon is given for the diner to choose whether s/he wants to give the tagine an extra kick to the palate. I definitely liked mine citrusy!

Another traditional dish is the couscous. Couscous spherical granules are usually made with semolina flour. Once the couscous is cooked, it is topped with the usual stewed meat or chicken as well as the vegetables. It's taste is similar to that to the tajine though there is less meat and vegetable servings.

Both dishes are a must taste when in Marrakesh. The flavors are quite strong and lingers in your mouth. The meat, however, when put in the mouth, seems like it is melting with how tender it can get.

One funny thing about the couscous and tagine, it is so popular that you may end up eating it everyday like we did! Most, if not all restaurants have it on their menu. The three that we tried all had delicious versions of the traditional dishes.

If you feel tired of it, there is always your typical Italian pizza and pasta restaurant. But when in Morocco, might as well relish the cuisine!

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