Travelers all over the world have generally three questions in mind before they land in their destination. Where to stay, what to see, and most importantly, what to eat?
Taroudant- Food is not only organic elements that keep people alive, but undoubtedly a window through which others discover the secret cultural aspects of a nation.
It is a common believe that in every country the luxurious places serve the best food; however, in Morocco, street food is just amazing, “fresh, filling and yours for a few dirhams,” said CNN.
The American news channel CNN recently published an article featuring the Moroccan street food entitled “10 street foods to try in Morocco”
No matter what city you chose for your vacation, street food is always available particularly during meal times. In Morocco, there are actually three principal meals namely, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every meal time has varied dishes specific to it.
Many Moroccan streets are the spot of mouth-watering food, yet CNN recommended “Fez (head toward the Achabine area), Marrakech (in Djemaa el-Fna and surrounding streets) and Essaouira (near the port end of Place Moulay Hassan)”.
While there are many mesmerising food you have to try in the streets of Morocco, the American Channel made the list short including:
Like in most parts of the world, bread is considered the general food staple for the majority of Moroccans.
Every kind of bread has its specific name in Morocco, and the word bread (Khobz) in Moroccan dialect (Darija) or “aghrum” in Berber, is oven-baked dough used traditionally to scoop into tagines, olive oil and other Moroccan dishes that are eaten with bread.
Other bread forms can be eaten alone or with a hot beverage, preferably tea with mint.
“Particularly good is beghrir (spongy bread, a bit like crumpets), harsha (buttery bread made of fine semolina) and rghaif (flaky, layered flat bread)” notes CNN.
Prepared from dried and peeled fava-beans during the cold seasons, Bessara is a famous Moroccan food that is more prevalent amid the working class.
“Hole-in-the-wall eateries also dish it up for lunch with a glut of lemon-infused olive oil and a sprinkle of cumin and chilli,” said CNN.
Traditionally crumbed liver is wrapped with thin fat and grilled on a barbecue, but also it can be fried on a pan with an extra sprinkle of hot spices.
Crumbed liver are really irresistible. The American channel called it “the Moroccan version of a wienerschnitzel: smooth and buttery calves’ livers, crumbed and fried.”
Steamed sheep head
It may sound a weird idea but once you try it you simply discover that the delicious taste of that sticky meat of the head of a sheep should not be wasted.
It is a tradition to serve the steamed sheep head for breakfast at the second day of Eid Al Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).
Some street restaurants in Jamaa Alfna in Marrakech serve exclusively steamed sheep head, locally called “Baolo” or “Paolo” for about MAD15 for a plate with a loaf of bread dipped in delicious sauce.
According to CNN, “Morocco is the world’s largest exporter of sardines, making the little fish a street food staple.”
Moroccans prepare sardines in different ways, but the frying method remains the most popular.
“stuffed with a spicy chermoula paste made of tomato, coriander, chili, garlic, paprika, cumin, olive oil and lemon juice,” sardines can make a “a tasty sandwich” for only MAD 10 ($1.16).
Fritters are very popular among street restaurants. Either Aubergine or potato fritters locally called Maakuda with some salad can be a cheap but a good evening snack.
People who can’t eat meat-based dishes for some religious commitments, or “vegetarians can happily scoff their way through the souks, too, with plenty of fresh, organic produce for sale.”
Brochettes or Kebbab, Meshwi, Shwa, Boulfaf are all different names denoting meat in skewers cooked over charcoal fire or electric barbecue grill. It is a prestigious Moroccan dish that is prepared for special guests or in ceremonies mainly “Eid Al Adha” because every family has enough meat to prepare to keep the barbecue busy all day.
They are probably the most expensive meal you can order in a street restaurant for approximately MAD 20 to MAD30 for few skewers, but it is worth the price. If you get lost among the crowds, and you want to kill your hunger, simply “follow the billowing clouds of smoke and you’ll find mini-chicken kebabs cooking over charcoal.”
Another meal that may look weird, but yummy is snails. After being properly cleaned, live snails are boiled with more than ten spices and herbs.
For less than MAD 5, you can get a bowl of snails in a hot and spicy broth. “First you pluck the snails from their shells with a toothpick before slurping the soup.”
Stuffed camel spleen
If you have a tooth for sausage, then I bet you can’t resist the flavour taste of stuffed camel spleen.
“Stuffed with ground beef, lamb or camel meat, olives, spices and a little bit of hump fat, the spleen is sent off to be baked in a communal bread oven.”
Desserts are widely consumed in Morocco.
The word desserts locally called (dissir) is used to refer to the fruits served after every principle meal. It is a cultural practice to serve fruits (the ones available during the season) after meals.
“Some of the most irresistible (and calorific) goodies include briwat (deep fried filo pastry triangles stuffed with almonds) and shebakia (flower-shaped, fried sesame cookies).” CNN said, but of course there are more sweet ones like “kaab Ghzal” “zmita” etc.
Some people may be suspicious about street food, but the quality of food is guaranteed and the prices are reasonable in many Moroccan cities like Marrakech that ranked 4th city among “Top Ten Best Street Food Cities” in the world by VirtualTourist.com.
Some of the abovementioned food may seem very strange and more exotic, including snails and steamed sheep’s head, but there are other dishes you can safely try like sheep’s testicles and spicy fried cow or sheep’s brain.
In addition to CNN’s list, there other well known Moroccan dishes you need to taste during your stay in Morocco: couscous, tagine, and bastila which are, undoubtedly, one of the ultimate manifestations of beauty, refinement and delicacy of Moroccan cuisine.
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