A few weeks ago, we traveled to Morocco to celebrate Karen’s birthday by glamping in the Moroccan desert. We spent over a week driving across the country, seeing all the sights, and eating all the foods of Morocco. This guide outlines what you can expect to eat while traveling to Morocco.
Moroccan Mint Tea – Moroccan Mint Tea is served everywhere at all times of the day. Brewed with fresh mint leaves, the tea is typically sweetened with raw sugar. You’ll notice that when the tea is served, usually your host will hold the teapot really, really high above the glass, causing a waterfall of tea to fill its glass. It is customary that the more bubbles, the better the tea, which is why the pouring technique is so predominant.
Tagine – By far, the most popular and common dish in Morocco. A Tagine is a special ceramic vessel that is used to cook the dish, usually over fire. The heavy cover helps to keep the meat moist. The tagine acts as both the vessel for cooking and serving. You’ll find tagines of all sorts of varieties: beef, lamb, chicken, fish, vegetables, you name it. Some of the most common flavor combinations you’ll encounter are beef and prune tagine, as well as chicken with olives and preserved lemon.
Tangia – This dish mainly found in Marrakech but was the best thing we ate in all of morocco. This dish is only prepared by men. Meat is cooked in a pottery vessel (different than a tagine) low and slow. It is usually dropped off to cook at the stoked fires that heat Hammans, which are like Turkish baths. The meat is incredibly tender and can be served with bread or rice.
Pastilla – A meat pie wrapped in a paper-thin crust, similar to phyllo dough. This dish was initially made with pigeon meat. Now, you can find pastilla filled with chicken or fish. It is made with almonds and cinnamon, giving it a sweet flavor.
Couscous – A wheat pasta rolled by hand and cut very small. Couscous is served hot in a large mound, usually with meat, and vegetables on the sides. It usually is topped with sweet raisins and a sauce on the side as well.
Mechoui Roasted Lamb – Head to “Mechoui Alley” in the medina to peek at this cooking feat. Behind the food store fronts, deep holes slow cook dozens of whole lambs low and slow. Large metal hooks are used to pull out the full lambs. The meat is served up by weight, including the sheep’s head. All that is used to season the meat is a little bit of salt, pepper, and cumin. You can also find tangia served here.
Kofta – One of our favorites! Ground meat is mixed with spices and grilled up over an open flame. Most street vendors selling kofta in the medinas will do so right at the front of the restaurant. The scrumptious smell of grilled meat will lure you right in!
Msemen – These are mesmerizing to watch being made on the streets! Msemen was one of our favorite things to eat while in morocco. A thin dough is cooked on a griddle, then carefully folded over and over again to create a crispy, flaky, snack bread. They are sometimes filled with spices, meats or veggies.
Briouats – Another favorite Moroccan food of ours were briouats. Layers of flaky, phyllo-like dough is folded in triangles and filled with meats, cheese, and vegetables. We learned how to make these during our Moroccan cooking class and were shocked to learn they are baked! They are so crispy you’d think they were fried!
Baghrir (Moroccan Crepes) – A common item on the breakfast table. Moroccan crepes are similar to a cross between a crumpet and a pancake. They are served with variety of jams and marmalades. We would spread them onto the crepes, roll them up, and eat them like a taco. It must be the Texans in us!
Orange Juice – You’ll find stands selling freshly squeezed orange juice everywhere – including little tables on the side of the road (similar to pop-up lemonade stands here in the US). The OJ in Morocco is AMAZING: much sweeter and less acidic than typical orange juice. It is also incredibly cheap, you’ll pick up a glass for only $0.40 or $0.50 USD.
Olives – Ohhhh the olives! Most meals are served with a bowl of olives as an appetizer. The olives in Morocco are less acidic and often enough come in some delicious marinades. Hit up an olive stand in the medina and taste away!
Sfinj (Moroccan Donuts) – Another favorite food that we ate! Be sure to get them FRESH from the street market. We ate one off of a breakfast buffet and it was hard and dry, a major disappointment. Finally, near the end of our trip, our Marrakech Food Tour brought us to a vendor in the medina where they were being fried right before our eyes. Eating them fresh was a GAME CHANGER. They are served on a string loop so you don’t burn your fingers on the piping hot delicacies. They are much less sweet than a traditional donut in the USA, so dip them in honey prior to taking each bite!
Oranges with Cinnamon – Usually served as a dessert, this simple dish is super tasty. Our lives are changed forever and we will always be sprinkling cinnamon on our oranges!
Other Moroccan street food – You’ll find snails being cooked up street-side, meat patties made with sardines, and lots of pastries. Since Morocco was a French colony for 44 years, there is a lot of French influence with their pastries.