Earlier this year it was announced that Morocco ranked among the four fastest-growing travel destinations among tourists from the USA. This is according to the American insurance website Squaremouth who revealed the other countries on the list to be Tanzania, Egypt, and Colombia.
There are many reasons why tourists flock to Morocco. Apart from breath-taking natural landscapes and countless cultural places of interest, the North-African country is also home to some of the most delicious traditional cuisines in the entire world. The food is, in fact, so delicious that even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were taken by it during their recent visit to the country.
While it may not be possible to try every single delightful local dish there are a few, such as the following, that should definitely be at the top of your list.
Whenever you visit one of the world’s most interesting destinations there are a number of things that will typically grab your attention during your adventure. Apart from things to do and places to visit, you are also bound to come across one dish among a range of traditional dishes, that will completely blow your mind.
In Morocco, chances are good that this dish will be Bastila. This flavorsome traditional meat pie is considered to be the food of royalty by locals and tourists alike. According to folklore, the dish was first created in the royal kitchen of Moorish Spain before making its way to Morocco. Although the dish is typically made with either chicken or pigeon, a seafood version exists as well which promises to be just as scrumptious as the original.
Fes, which is also known as the cultural capital of the country, reportedly serves the best Bastilla in all of Morocco, so be sure to order it if you ever find yourself in the region.
Tajine refers to both the traditional clay dish used in Moroccan cooking as well as the contents cooked inside of it.
Tajine bowl. Fabien Bazanegue/Unsplash
Every region you visit in the country will have its own version of a traditional tajine. The basic ingredients of seasonal vegetables & fruit, spices and, in some versions of the dish, meat features regardless of where you find yourself in Morocco. Some popular regional tajines include rabbit tajine, goat meat with dried apricots or prunes, chicken with spices (known as djej m’hammer), and eel with onions and raisins.
Remember that while couscous may seem like a logical accompaniment for tajine, it is a completely separate dish. Taine is, in fact, typically served and eaten with fresh bread that can soak up all the brothy goodness. Apart from being the capital of the country, Rabat also lays claim to the best tajine you can find not only in Morocco but the whole of North Africa as well.
Couscous is probably the most internationally-renowned Moroccan dish thanks to the instant variety that is found in supermarkets across the world. Unlike this fast-cooking version of the grain, traditional couscous can take hours to prepare.
Couscous is generally prepared on a Friday as well as on special occasions but can be found at restaurants and cafes at all times. After cooking is complete, the fluffy grains are typically topped with a fragrant broth, meat, and vegetables and served. A small amount of olive oil can also be added during the steaming process to render the couscous silkier. Be prepared to get your hands dirty while eating couscous as it is still traditionally eaten with the hands although many people have started to use a fork or spoon.
You can find traditional couscous served across all of Morocco with cites such as Casablanca and Marrakesh being particularly well-known for their regional spin on the popular staple.
African countries such as Morocco are fast gaining popularity as sought-after foodie destinations. As long as you have an open mind and even the slightest sense of adventure as far as food is concerned you are bound to fall in love with the delicious offerings of the kingdom in the North.
Cover image credit: Louis Hansel/Unsplash