Moroccan food: essential local cuisine to try on holiday

Aimee Spicer / 03 March 2016

Morocco means different things to different travellers. For some people the North African history is the biggest draw, for others it’s the colourful markets, and for others still, it’s the sunshine and the beaches.



But no matter what kind of traveller you are, there’s one thing that unites us all: food! Morocco is a country with a lot to explore, but food is a quick and easy way to get better acquainted with whatever part of the country you travel to and, with our suggestions, you’ll be eating and drinking like a native in no time!

Tagine

Tagines are clay cooking pots that are used to cook a variety of Moroccan recipes. Try kefta tagine – spiced balls of beef or lamb cooked with a red sauce and an egg – or chicken tagine with couscous.

Fish Chermoula

Morocco borders both the Mediterranean and Atlantic, so it’s no surprise that it’s home to a number of specialty fish dishes. If you are visiting the famed Casablanca or Agadir on the water, don’t be afraid to go all-in on seafood. Chermoula is a combination of herbs and spices that is used as a marinade or dipping sauce for items like shrimp, sardines and fried whiting. There’s also fish tagine or seafood Bastilla.

Couscous

Couscous, also known as “seksu”, is a wheat pasta that you’ve probably tried many times. But there is no better place to try couscous than in Morocco, where it is served as a staple side to many if not most dishes. It is generally layered over a combination of meat and vegetables and often is accompanied by a raisin preserve or a bowl of buttermilk.

Makouda

Marrakech’s famous Djemaa el-Fna square is a foodie’s paradise. With so many unique food experiences it can be difficult to know where to start, but something that shouldn’t be missed is the Makouda. These deep-fried potato balls are the perfect pairing for almost anything else in the square – though they are also great on their own with some spicy dipping sauce.

Bastilla

Bastilla comes in a number of different guises. It is a pie with flaky pastry that is most often filled with a blend of pigeon meat, almonds and eggs, then topped with iced sugar and cinnamon. However, there is also a savory version of this pie made from fish, shrimp and calamari with a delicious red sauce. This is a truly exotic dish with intriguing and subtle flavors, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Mint Tea

This is another signature of Moroccan culture. Mint tea, also called “Berber whiskey” is served with a heavy helping of sugar and fresh mint leaves. It can be enjoyed throughout Morocco, whether you’re visiting the thriving metropolis of Marrakech, relaxing by the beach or visiting the dry deserts that mark the interior of Morocco.

Coffee

Coffee is another great option. Muslims are forbidden from drinking alcohol and it is illegal to imbibe in sight of a mosque or during Ramadan. In general, tourists are more than welcome to consume alcohol, but many choose the local coffee instead and spend their time in Morocco enjoying French press, espresso or Turkish style drinks.

We have a host of mouthwatering holidays to Morocco that combining the perfect recipe of history, culture, shopping and eating. This inspiring country will spoil you with its landscapes and experiences.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.