From the Rif Mountains near Chefchaouen to the Sahara Desert, Morocco is a vibrant country through and through. The colorful culture drew me in right away, but it’s the flavors of Morocco that truly captured my heart during my time there.
Food is one of the main factors that determine how much I love a country. Given that Morocco is one of my favorite countries, to say I just liked the food is an understatement. There are so many different flavors in Moroccan food, each evoking different memories of an unforgettable trip.
Turn up the heat with a spicy tagine
Morocco’s most famed dish, tagine, contains an array of aromatic spices mixed with slow cooked meat and vegetables. Eaten with khobz, a type bread similar to pita, it’s the one dish anyone who visits Morocco is bound to try and guaranteed to love. My favorite tagine is made with kefta, or ground beef. When I think of tagine, I think of being so hungry and eating as if I’ve never seen food before when I arrived in the Sahara Desert after a 12 hour car ride. Sitting around the table sharing a tagine with my new friends on the tour was one of my favorite memories of Morocco.
Get a Vitamin C boost from Marrakech’s Jemaa el-Fnaa
The medina in Marrakech is the largest market in Morocco and it is chock full of amazing street food. One of the best and most refreshing items to taste in the medina is the fresh fruit juice. At around $1 a glass for orange or mixed fruit juice, it’s the best deal in the medina. Marrakech’s fruit juice reminds me of the friendly man who sold me the glass and posed happily for my photo in the busy medina. His smile and juice certainly brightened my day.
Indulge the sweet tooth with macarons
When you think macarons, you’re probably thinking of France. Morocco’s macarons are something I never expected to stumble upon and fall in love with. I only found these gems in the street and they never disappointed me. Not your typical macaron, I found these cookies in both peanut and coconut flavor. At about 20 cents apiece, they were such a great find. Macarons remind me of the new friends I met in Fes and how excited we all were to find such a nice sweet treat to us by an adorable old man.
Relax with a soothing mint tea
Moroccan mint tea is one of the country’s many claims to fame. This tea, brewed with mint leaves and loaded with sugar, tastes kind of like hot spearmint water, but it’s so good. Okay, I’ll admit it: at first taste I winced and had to take a sip of water to wash the sugar out of my mouth. Soon enough, I was looking forward to taking tea breaks with my friends and drank all the free cups of tea I could get my hands on. Mint tea brings me back to the Sahara Desert, gazing up at the stars as I sat around a fire that was used to brew our tea and keep us warm during the cold night.
Shock the tastebuds with a barbecued meat sandwich
Forget going to a sandwich shop; hit the alleyways of the souks to get a barbecued meat sandwich. Made with turkey, beef, or chicken and a mix of spices and stuffed inside a khobz, this is some of the best street food I’ve ever had. Don’t forget to get the mystery sauce on top! I have no idea what it is and it usually looked sketchy, but it was always tasty. Morocco’s barbecued meat sandwich reminds me of Mister Ayachi, the famed best sandwich man in Fes, or so the manager at my hostel told me. It was so delicious that I believe him!
When I think back on Morocco, my fondest memories are those including breaking bread with new friends and sharing the experience of a mystery meal together. The food in Morocco awakens the senses and helps make memories. It can be sweet and tangy or spicy and powerful, and it will certainly keep me coming back for more.