Eating my heart out in: Morocco

Morocco is a country of spices, a spice for almost every type of landscape you can imagine-  rivers and beaches to the gorgeous green country side to desert, oasis’s  and sand dunes. Take a walk through a souq (market) and you’ll encounter spice and herbal shops every 100 steps you may wonder how they profit. The heart and soul of Morocco is about her spices to make all the flavorful concoctions and spices to make delicious essentials to cooking a delicious pastilla or tangine . Yellow curry, red curry, paprika, pepper, sweet pepper, 10 spices, 40 spices, cinnamon, nutmeg overflow in big bins and I wonder why tiny spice bottles back in the USA are expensive when the equivalent of 2 spice bottles costs $1.

One of my favorite things about travel is eating where the locals eat. What  is a typical meal? When and where do people eat? Whether I’m visiting a new city for the first time,  enjoying the possibilities in California or eating out in Roquetas de mar. Sampling the local fare offers a delightful sensory experience of a culture, of a place and what’s available or important in the region. I always want to know, What do locals eat and where?  

Arriving in Morocco, I was excited to find fresh squeezed orange juice all over the plaza and was quick to want to try couscous, deserts and mint tea. I knew there was more to Moroccan food but for whatever reason despite every type of ethnic food available in the SF Bay Area, Moroccan food is one I don’t know well. Moroccan cuisine excites your senses with so many flavors. Tangines, meat and vegetable slowly cooked in a ceramic pot, are everywhere and delicious. I’ll admit always seemed a bit bland, in a land of spices, I was surprised that they don’t add spices to the couscous Occasionally we asked for sauce for the couscous but I wasn’t as impressed as I hoped to be or maybe I just never found the place for couscous.

Our very first meal in the Tangier trains station- Chicken pizza.  Pizza seems to be everywhere in the world!

Chicken pizza at the Tangier train station!

Juan, me, Lisa and Matt- eating our first Tangine. Meat and vegetables slowly cooked in a ceramic pot.

Our first meal and taste of street food- Lamb Tangine

Tangine up close- meat is hidden under potatoes, zucchini, carrots and tomatoes!

And then a proper lunch:

Chicken,onion and dates tagine, vegetable and chicken couscous

Olives to accompany our meal. Spain is teaching me to appreciate all types and flavors of olives!

Chicken tangine (Chicken is hiding under the vegetables)

Chicken tangine

So ready!

Oh yes, I'm ready! As Juan looks on.

Tiny little restaurant that had tables outside. 

The little cafe- see the ceramic tangine pots

Breakfast. My, how Moroccans love there bread.

breakfast- lots of bread- flat bead, dense bread, croissant and te and orange juice

One of my favorite places to eat was in the plaza. From 4-11pm at night, a quarter of the plaza became filled with food stalls selling tangines, couscous,meat and vegetable skewers, salads, snails, fish… you name it!

Food stalls in the plaza- At this stall, choose your meat and they'll cook it!

Savvy women running this stall and the men brought out the dishes. Would have loved to know the story. 

Food stall with savvy women running the show!

Delicious: 

delicious street food- chicken and veggie skewers, grilled eggplant and peppers, beets and tomato dipping sauce!

Eggplant and peppers, beet salad and spinach. Check out the bread!

And check out the bread- Moroccans love their bread!

First night eating street food in the plaza! Yum!

I ate a snail. I did a little ” I don’t want to eat a snail” dance but a few other tourists convinced me to try one. And I always try (almost) everything once!

“It tastes like a mushroom, it tastes like a portabello mushroom, it taste like a mushroom.” Swallow. Done. Not too flavorful but I’m not a fan of the chewy texture. Surprise surprise. More for everyone to enjoy.

I’ve tried it. A big check of the list.

Snails snails, Come and get your snails!

Lisa and I were happy to find a cutsy tourist spot (well only tourist were there) right next to where we were staying serving good food with Moroccan prices. Nice to eat a salad!

Avocado salad and kefka (meatball) tangine

What is your favorite Moroccan food? Or What is your favorite dish/photo?

Leave a comment below.

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8 thoughts on “Eating my heart out in: Morocco

  1. Pingback: 2012 Travels in Review: A slideshow of Photos « Roamingtheworld

  2. Pingback: Adventures in the kitchen « Roamingtheworld

  3. LOVE tangine! That Moroccan tapa place we ended up not going to go (WHAT was up with our schedule that weekend?) has great Moroccan food available. The owner always smiles when he sees me because he knows I’m going to stuff my face. The first time I went to Morocco was after having spent a few months in Spain, and I remember eating such delicious food and thinking to myself that I hadn’t eaten that well in ages. Moroccan food is just the BEST! My favorite is tangine, veggie and chicken couscous, and falafel.

    • I’ll just have to come back to Granada to visit you and sample all the tapas bars that were closed! Sabes?!

      I really liked Tangines too. Very flavorful and different. Though now that you mention it, I never saw Falafel. hmmm. I think a return visit to Morocco is in order! jajaja

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