The Joys of Moroccan Food

Moroccan food is scrumptious, and I think we only hit the tip of the iceberg during our short visit. This is the kind of place where you want to eat more than three meals a day.

An essential element of Berber cuisine, the tajine is always a satisfying meal.  The tajine is a dish of meat, spices and vegetables baked in an earthenware pot of the same name.

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Common combinations include chicken with olives and lamb with prunes. After they bake for a long time, they come out with the moist, delicious falling-off-the-bone meat and perfectly cooked vegetables. I especially like it when they’re garnished with almonds and a hard-boiled egg.

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Moroccan olives are to die for. They have a wide variety of fresh, fruity flavors that have been cured with herbs and spices or packed in oil. These savory little fruits are grown all over the countryside and sell for under 1USD/pound. Even olive-averse Eric liked them.

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Strawberry tree fruit has an alien gelatinous center and a spiny, almost crunchy exterior. The sweet flavor is good, even if texture leaves something to be desired.

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Pastilla is a Moroccan dish that is made of thin, flaky layers of dough along with various sweet and salty flavors. Most of what we tried contained pistachios, egg, chicken (although traditionally made with pigeon), and a layer of powdered sugar and cinnamon on top. The unusual flavor combinations in this dish make it highly addictive.

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One of our favorite things about Morocco was cup after cup of hot mint tea. They mix the mint, sugar and tea with boiling water and let it steep until the flavors have fully developed. This staple is often complementary, and it can be had just about everywhere. And, it’s one of the few things we can recreate at home.

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While we were in Paris, we stopped by L’Escargot for dinner. The escargot there was yummy and came with schmancy forks for digging the little guys out of their shells. But at 1 euro per snail we had to limit our indulgence. Enter the Marrakesh snail guy.

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He serves up small bowls of our mollusky friends in a warm, inviting, peppery broth. We didn’t want to stop eating these, and at $6USD for two bowls, we didn’t have to. What sweetened this deal was that when we finished, another guy came over and refilled our bowls. For free! Unlimited escargot for 6 bucks…budget backpacker jubilee.

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And finally, real sugar Coca Cola tastes the same everywhere. But these bottles were just neat.

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