Spicy yet sweet, fruity yet meaty, Moroccan food is a marvellous myriad of contradictions. Berber, Moorish and Arab influences all contributed to the modern day fare, with cooks in the royal kitchens of Fes, Marrakesh and Tetouan helping to elevate it to one of the world’s most popular cuisines.
The versatility of the rice-like couscous, and the tenderness of the tajine (slow cooked-stew), has made these dishes two of Morocco’s most popular exports. As well as these old favourites, there is plenty available for the curious, exploratory foodie: camel and rabbit are commonly used as a base for Moroccan meat dishes. Part of the joy of cooking Moroccan food is gathering the ingredients in a souk- an open-air marketplace where you will be dazzled by charismatic vendors and colourful foods and spices.
To miss out on Moroccan street food is like missing out on the Eiffel Tower in Paris: unthinkable. Your senses will not know what has hit them in Marrakesh’s Djemaa el Fna square. Tantalizing barbecue smells will lure you towards incredible dishes, best enjoyed when soaking up the compelling entertainment. Be enthralled by traditional performances such as magicians conjuring medicines, snake-charmers, or storytellers re-enacting mystifying ancient tales.
Every delicious delicacy must be complemented with an equally tasty tipple- and Moroccan wine certainly does not disappoint. Chateau Roslane, close to the former capital of Meknes, is a particular highlight for wine aficionados, with its 700 hectare vineyards.
In between tasting Moroccan treats, take time for a literal hike up the stunning mountain range of High Atlas. Be spellbound by Morocco’s overflowing wealth of natural beauty, from the Ouzoud waterfall, to Iminifri, a 1.2 million natural bridge.
Once you step into this scorching North African country, prepare for the most incredible, dizzying ride of your life. Celebrate all of Morocco’s crazy contradictions, both natural and culinary, and you will soon be feeling just as at home as couscous itself.