Moroccan Cuisine: 23 Must-Try Foods & Drinks in Morocco

23 Must-Try Foods & Drinks in Morocco

Visiting Morocco? Here are the foods you need to try! Morocco, a land of vibrant colors, enchanting landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, is equally famous for its diverse and delectable cuisine. Moroccan cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors influenced by Berber, Arab, and Mediterranean cultures. Morocco introduced us to a variety of delicious new tastes. We’ve created a user-friendly list of 18 Moroccan dishes you should try when you visit Morocco, depending on how daring you are with your food choices. In this article, we will explore the top 18 foods and drinks that you must savor when visiting Morocco.

18 MOROCCAN FOODS TO TRY WHILE VISITING MOROCCO

Tagine – An Iconic Culinary Experience

Tagine is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary journey. The term ‘tagine’ encompasses the slow-cooked stew and the unique earthenware pot used for its preparation. 

Moroccan Tagine, morrocan cuisine

Moroccan chefs usually make this famous dish with tender lamb, chicken, or fish, flavoring it with spices, fruits, and vegetables. The slow-cooking method guarantees the meat’s tenderness and the melding of flavors to perfection. Tagine stands as an integral element of Morocco’s culinary heritage.

COUSCOUS (NATIONAL DISH OF MOROCCO)

Couscous transcends being merely a dish in Morocco; it is a cultural icon. Derived from crushed and steamed wheat, Couscous forms the cornerstone of countless Moroccan culinary creations. Typically accompanied by a delectable stew featuring tender meats, fragrant spices, and an array of vegetables, Couscous boasts its versatility. With each region in Morocco adding its distinctive touch, no two couscous dishes are identical, making it a culinary treasure.

COUSCOUS (NATIONAL DISH OF MOROCCO)

Zaalouk – Eggplant Delight

Zaalouk is a versatile Moroccan dish that you can enjoy as either a salad or a dip. It features roasted eggplants, tomatoes, garlic, and spices. The smoky flavors and soft textures make it a delightful accompaniment to fresh bread.

Zaalouk - Eggplant Delight

FISH CHERMOULA

 Fish Chermoula is a delightful and flavorful Moroccan dish that is an absolute must-try for seafood lovers. It’s a testament to the vibrant and aromatic nature of Moroccan cuisine. Chermoula is a fragrant marinade made from a blend of fresh herbs, spices, and various aromatic ingredients. Typically, this marinade is used to add Moroccan flavors and tenderize fish and seafood before grilling or baking, giving them a burst of flavor.

FISH CHERMOULA

Harira – The Hearty Soup

Harira is a soup that’s much more than a soup. It’s a hearty and nutritious concoction that plays a significant role during the holy month of Ramadan. Made from a base of tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and a bouquet of spices, Harira is not only delicious but also incredibly filling. It’s traditionally enjoyed with dates and bread as the sun sets, breaking the day’s fast.

Harira - The Hearty Soup

Bastilla – A Delightful Pastry

Bastilla is a culinary masterpiece that beautifully blends sweet and savory flavors. This delicious pie features layers of pigeon meat (though chicken is often used as a substitute), almonds, and a blend of exotic spices. What sets Bastilla apart is the delicate phyllo pastry that envelopes the filling. To add a final touch of magic, you can dust the pie with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Bastilla is a dish that exemplifies Moroccan cuisine’s ability to marry seemingly contrasting flavors into a harmonious whole.

Bastilla

Maakouda – The Potato Patties

Maakouda, often referred to as “Makouda,” is a beloved Moroccan street food that has gained popularity both locally and internationally for its delectable taste and satisfying simplicity. These crispy and flavorful potato patties are a true Moroccan culinary gem, and they make for a perfect snack or accompaniment to your meal.

Maakouda - The Potato Patties

Khobz – Moroccan Bread

Khobz, often called “Moroccan bread,” is an essential and cherished component of Moroccan cuisine. It is unique in Moroccan culture, serving as the quintessential accompaniment to almost every meal. This traditional bread is known for its round, flat shape and symbolizes unity, togetherness, and the heartwarming hospitality of Morocco.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread

Steamed Sheep Head

On the occasion of Eid al-Adha, it’s a tradition for people to sacrifice a sheep and then slow-cook the sheep’s head for an extended period. You can usually buy a half or a whole head and savor it seasoned with cumin, salt, and chili. While the entire head is edible, the most delectable portions are the tender cheek meat and the tongue. Are you open to giving it a try?

Steamed Sheep Head

Moroccan Mint Tea – The National Beverage

Moroccan hospitality revolves around a steaming glass of sweet mint tea. Moroccan Mint Tea isn’t just a drink; it’s a cultural institution. Steep fresh mint leaves and an abundance of sugar with green tea leaves. This delightful concoction is served ceremonially, often with a flourish of pouring the tea from a height to create a frothy top. The sweet and refreshing taste of Moroccan Mint Tea is a delightful introduction to the nation’s warm hospitality.

Moroccan Mint Tea

Bissara: A Flavorful Moroccan Split Pea Soup

Bissara, a hearty and flavorful Moroccan soup, is a beloved dish with a special place in Moroccan cuisine. Made primarily from dried split peas, this soup is not only delicious but also highly nutritious. People often enjoy Bissara as a comforting and warming meal, especially during the winter months, and they typically serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cumin.

Bissara: A Flavorful Moroccan Split Pea Soup

Brochettes – The Moroccan Cuisine

These delicious kababs are seasoned with salt and spices and are readily available in many markets. They come in options of chicken, lamb, or beef, and the billowing plumes of smoke they produce make for fantastic photo opportunities.

Brochettes

Kefta – Moroccan Meatballs

Kefta, or Moroccan meatballs, are a savory delight. These spiced meatballs are typically served in a tomato-based sauce, creating a rich and aromatic dish. Often accompanied by fresh bread, Kefta is a classic Moroccan comfort food.

Kefta - Moroccan Meatballs

 Mechoui – Roasted Lamb

For those who appreciate the art of roasting, Mechoui is a Moroccan delight. This slow-roasted lamb is marinated with a secret blend of spices, ensuring the meat is tender, succulent, and flavorful. Often prepared during special occasions and festivals, Mechoui is a testament to Moroccan culinary expertise.

Mechoui - Roasted Lamb

 Msemen – A Flaky Pancake

Msemen is a crispy, flaky pancake that’s a staple of Moroccan breakfasts. These golden squares are versatile and often enjoyed with honey, cheese, or a drizzle of olive oil. The flaky layers and slight crispiness make Msemen a textural delight.

Msemen - A Flaky Pancake

Pastilla – A Sweet and Savory Pie

Pastilla is a unique and delectable Moroccan dish that masterfully combines sweet and savory elements, creating a culinary masterpiece that delights the taste buds. This pie celebrates contrasts, boasting layers of tender pigeon meat (although chicken is a common alternative), fragrant almonds, a hint of sugar, and a medley of aromatic spices. Combining these diverse flavors in every bite is a true adventure for the senses.

Pastilla

Sellou – The Energy Booster

Sellou is the perfect snack for those seeking a quick energy boost. This nutritious bar is made from almonds, sesame seeds, and honey, resulting in a sweet, nutty, and energy-packed treat. Sellou is often enjoyed with a steaming glass of Moroccan mint tea, creating a perfect collaboration of flavors and providing energy, particularly during busy days.

Sellou - The Energy Booster

Chebakia – The Honey Cookies

Chebakia, a delightful Moroccan dessert, captivates the eyes and the taste buds. Resembling intricately shaped flowers, these cookies are deep-fried to achieve a crispy exterior, soaked in honey for a sweet and sticky finish, and then dusted with sesame seeds. The unique texture and sweet taste of Chebakia make it a favorite during special occasions and celebratory feasts.

Chebakia - The Honey Cookies

 M’hanncha – The Snake Cake

M’hanncha, also known as the “Snake Cake,” is a Moroccan pastry that stands out for its distinctive spiral shape. Filled with a sumptuous blend of almonds, sugar, and cinnamon, M’hanncha is a delightful dessert that offers a perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness. Its unique appearance and rich flavors make it a memorable treat.

M'hanncha - The Snake Cake

Ghriba – Moroccan Shortbread

Ghriba is a Moroccan shortbread cookie renowned for its crumbly texture and rich, buttery taste. These cookies are often flavored with sesame seeds and anise, creating a delightful combination of tastes and textures. Ghriba’s irresistible, crumbly quality makes it a perfect accompaniment to a cup of Moroccan mint tea.

Ghriba - Moroccan Shortbread

Quench Your Thirst with Moroccan Cuisine

Jus d’Orange – Fresh Orange Juice

In Morocco, the sunny climate is ideal for cultivating oranges, making freshly squeezed orange juice a popular and refreshing choice. Sipping on this citrus delight at local cafes or from street stalls is a delightful way to quench your thirst and enjoy the natural sweetness of Moroccan oranges.

Jus d'Orange - Fresh Orange Juice

Amlou – Argan Dip

Amlou is a unique Moroccan dip crafted from argan oil, almonds, and honey. This dip delivers a distinct and nutty flavor, and people often serve it with bread. The nuttiness of argan oil adds a special touch to Amlou, making it a must-try condiment in Moroccan cuisine.

Amlou - Argan Dip

Sharbat – Traditional Drink

Sharbat is a traditional Moroccan drink created from a blend of fruits and herbs. This refreshing and aromatic beverage is served cold, making it a perfect choice for staying cool in Morocco’s warm climate. The varied flavors of Sharbat are a testament to Moroccan ingenuity in creating thirst-quenching and delightful beverages.

Sharbat Moroccan drink

Conclusion:

Morocco’s culinary journey offers a diverse tapestry of flavors and traditions. From the iconic Tagine to the versatile Couscous, the heartiness of Harira, and the unique experience of Steamed Sheep Head, Moroccan cuisine is a delight for all tastes. For a refreshing touch, enjoy Moroccan Mint Tea, and for a sweet treat, savor Sellou and Chebakia. The dessert options M’hanncha and Ghriba provide a perfect balance of sweetness.

In the realm of beverages, quench your thirst with fresh Jus d’Orange, the unique Amlou dip, and the refreshing Sharbat. Each dish and drink in Morocco is a cultural experience, weaving a rich tapestry of flavors and traditions. Your culinary journey in Morocco will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.

FAQs – Moroccan Cuisine

What are some traditional Moroccan dishes I must try when visiting Morocco?

In Morocco, you must try Tagine, Couscous, and pastilla, some of the most iconic dishes. Other must-try foods include harira (soup), kefta (meatballs), grilled meats and seafood.

Are there vegetarian or vegan options available in Moroccan cuisine?

Yes, Moroccan cuisine offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Dishes like vegetable tagine, lentil soup, and Moroccan salads are delicious and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. You can also enjoy falafel, which is popular in Morocco.

What are some famous street foods in Morocco, and are they safe to eat?

Street food is an integral part of Moroccan culture. You should try foods like merguez (spicy sausages), grilled sardines, and msemen (pancakes). Most street food vendors follow proper hygiene standards, but it’s advisable to choose stalls with long lines or a local guide to ensure safe and tasty street food experiences.

What are the must-try Moroccan beverages, and are they safe to drink?

Moroccan mint tea, known as “atay,” is a must-try beverage. It’s safe to drink, and locals often serve it as a gesture of hospitality. You can also savor freshly squeezed orange juice at the numerous juice stands. Just ensure the water used is purified when ordering tap water or ice in your drinks to avoid any potential health issues.

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