Marrakech, a city that evokes images of bustling souks, swirling colors, and exotic fragrances, is also a food lover’s paradise. Moroccan cuisine is a feast for the senses, with a rich tapestry of flavors, textures, and spices that will transport you to the fragrant alleys of Marrakech.
Start your culinary journey with a traditional Moroccan breakfast. Boiled eggs, crusty bread, honey, and butter are a popular choice, but the real stars of the show are the msemen and beghrir. Msemen is a flaky, buttery flatbread that’s cooked on a griddle and folded into layers, while beghrir is a spongy pancake made with semolina flour and yeast, cooked until it’s pockmarked with holes that soak up melted butter and honey.
Lunchtime calls for a bowl of harira, a hearty soup made with lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices. It’s often served with dates and chebakia, a sweet sesame cookie, as an accompaniment. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a tangia, a slow-cooked meat dish that’s marinated with spices and preserved lemons and cooked in an earthenware pot over hot coals.
Dinner is a grand affair in Marrakech, and a tagine is a must-try dish. This slow-cooked stew is named after the cone-shaped clay pot it’s cooked in, and can be made with almost anything – chicken, beef, lamb, vegetables, or even fish. The meat or vegetables are cooked with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and saffron, and topped with preserved lemons and olives.
Moroccan cuisine is a blend of Arab, Mediterranean, and African influences, and this fusion is reflected in the diversity of the nation’s desserts. Try a slice of almond-studded kaab el ghazal, a crescent-shaped cookie filled with sweetened almond paste, or a wedge of layered bastilla, a savory-sweet pastry made with chicken, almonds, and cinnamon.
Of course, no culinary tour of Marrakech is complete without a cup of steaming mint tea, which is as ubiquitous on the city’s streets as the souks themselves.
In Marrakech, food is more than sustenance – it’s an expression of hospitality, warmth, and tradition. So venture beyond the clichés of tagines and couscous and discover the full range of Morocco’s delicious and exotic cuisine in Marrakech. Bon appétit!