As you plan your Moroccan vacation, these handy tips for eating traditional food in Morocco will help you find the best flavor experiences you can imagine. After all, the cuisine is one of the best reasons for heading off to this North African country!
Tips For Eating Traditional Food In Morocco
One of the best things about travel is enjoying the local cuisine. This is certainly true of the North African country of Morocco. The country of Morocco has a rich history which has influenced many of the spices and flavors found in the cuisine. An abundance of fresh produce is grown all over the country. And the coastal areas are blessed with fresh seafood of all varieties. Arab, African, and Mediterranean influences bring a unique combination of spices to the mix. It’s easy to imagine that Moroccan cuisine is a truly special flavor experience.
When it comes tips for eating traditional food in Morocco, the most important tip would simply be: Bring Your Appetite!
Bread in Morocco
Moroccan cuisine nearly always involves bread in some form. There are at least eight varieties of bread commonly enjoyed. And bread is even used to scoop food up when eating – in place of utensils. Therefore, when dining in Morocco, you will have a much more enjoyable experience if you “embrace the bread.” If you typically eat a low-carb or keto diet or try to avoid gluten, you may have a difficult time in Morocco. So unless you have a severe allergy to gluten, you may wish to just enjoy the food while you’re there and go back to your normal way of eating when you return home. In fact, this philosophy is one of the best tips for eating in Morocco. After all, isn’t that what being on vacation is all about?
Some of the amazing bread you will find in Morocco are:
Named after “Smen”, the clarified butter used to make the bread, this delicious bread is flat – like a large pancake. Made on the stove, Msemen is often filled with meat and veggies for an out-of-the-world combination of flavors!
Harcha is very reminiscent of cornbread. It is cooked in a pan and is rich with butter and semolina. The semolina gives Harcha a crunchy texture perfectly suited for honey or fruit jams.
Traditionally cooked in a sandpit in the desert, this bread is often compared to the bread used in calzones or pizza. You’ll often find this stuffed with eggs, meat, and vegetables for a scrumptious taste experience you don’t want to miss!
Restaurants in Morocco
When visiting another country, it is only natural to feel the safest eating in a restaurant, especially one that looks classy and upscale. However, if you are looking authentic Moroccan food experiences, you are unlikely to find them in the typical restaurants. The simple truth is that the best Moroccan food is homemade.
This does not mean that you have to be invited to someone’s home in order to experience the best food (although it certainly helps!) But it does mean that you may be happier finding a nice riad that serves authentic food. Most riads offer overnight accommodations along with dining. But even if you aren’t staying overnight, you can generally make reservations to come to enjoy some good home cooking.
For a truly hands-on experience when dining – many riads offer cooking classes, too. This is a great way to learn how to make some wonderful and traditional Moroccan cuisine you can enjoy on vacation – and once you return home!
Eating in a Family Home in Morocco
As you plan your vacation, you may not expect to find yourself dining in the home of a Moroccan family. But this is actually not an uncommon experience. Moroccan people are very friendly. They enjoy welcoming travelers and spend a little time getting to know you over a nice meal. So if you are lucky enough to be invited to someone’s home for a meal, say yes! You will learn even more about the day-to-day life of the people. But it is also the best way to enjoy the food as it is meant to be experienced.
Unlike the meals many of us are accustomed to – with individual portions served in individual plates, meals in Morocco are communal. Food is generally served on common platters that everyone shares from. Remember to only eat from the triangle area directly in front of you – it is disrespectful to reach for food in someone else’s area. Bread is used to scoop up food in lieu of utensils. And always use your right hand when eating, as the left hand is considered “unclean”.
Eating Street Food in Morocco
When preparing for your travels, you may see “advice” warning you away from the Moroccan street food. But we hope that you won’t take that advice to heart. Yes, it is important to be cautious with your food choices no matter where you go. But if you avoid the street food in Morocco, you will really miss out on some incredible flavor experiences. If you want to be safe, keep the following tips for eating in Morocco in mind:
- Look for places where you see a lot of local Moroccans eating. If they are staying away, it is a good sign that you should, too.
- When considering whether to purchase fried food, take a look at the oil to make sure it looks fresh and not old and brown.
- If you buy some of the amazing fresh produce you will find everywhere, be sure you wash it before eating it.
- Consider finding a food tour, especially if you are spending time in Marrakech. Your tour guides will make sure you find all the best foods to enjoy while guiding you away from food that might make you ill.
Visiting Morocco is an experience for the senses in every way. From sunny beaches to golden sand dunes to the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco is a country filled with delicious, traditional cuisine. We hope that these tips for eating in Morocco will help you feel more comfortable as you explore the unique and wonderful Moroccan cuisine.