The normal Moroccan diet includes a fair amount of meat. But if you prefer a meat-free diet, the following Tips for Vegetarians Traveling in Morocco can help!
Tips For Vegetarians Traveling in Morocco
The traditional Moroccan diet is based on the abundance of naturally available foods in North Africa. And while there are many vegetable dishes, meat is an important part of traditional cuisine. Beef, lamb, chicken, and fish are all commonly featured on the menu. Even the vegetable dishes are often flavored with meat broths. To the average Moroccan, the concept of being a vegetarian is unfamiliar – and rather odd. So if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may find it rather challenging to stick to your preferred way of eating during your vacation in Morocco. To help you find your way, we offer the following tips for vegetarians traveling in Morocco.
Consider a Temporary Hiatus
Do you avoid eating animal products primarily because you are opposed to the cruelties of factory farming in the industrial world? If so, it is important to consider that no such thing exists in Morocco. The Moroccan people live in much closer connection with the land. Animals are raised and hunted the same now as they have been for hundreds of years. For this reason, some vegetarians visiting North Africa simply choose to embrace the experience and eat traditional cuisine. This way, you can enjoy the variety of unique dishes available without limitations.
But if you have strongly-held reasons for sticking to your animal-free way of eating, there are definitely ways to enjoy lots of meat-free eating in Morocco.
Salads and Breads Are Your Friends
One of the best tips for vegetarians traveling in Morocco is to focus on salads and bread. There is an amazing variety of salads in Moroccan cuisine. And many of them are dishes you may not even think of as salad. Some are fresh – like the popular chopped cucumbers and tomatoes with vinaigrette. And many others are cooked – like Tk’touka – a tasty combination of tomatoes, bell peppers, and traditional spices. You’ll find salads made with eggplant, potatoes, squash, fava beans, olives, and many other fresh and flavorful foods.
Cooked salads, like many of the warm foods, are often eaten with bread. And if you like bread, Morocco will be a heavenly experience for you all the way around. There are so many wonderful types of bread in Morocco. This includes the delicious flatbread often used in place of forks and spoons.
Check For Vegetarian Options When Making Travel Plans
If you do a little research through a site like Booking.com, you can often find vegetarian or vegan options available upon request. Many hotels offer a variety of International cuisines, as well as traditional Moroccan food. If eating Moroccan, look for options like vegetarian tagine. Lentils, vegetarian couscous, or meat-free harira are also great choices for dinner. For breakfast, look for bread, fruit, and egg dishes.
Enjoy the Natural Bounty of Morocco
Wander through any souk or open market and you’ll find an abundance of delicious meat-free foods that grow naturally in Morocco. Many fresh fruits and nuts are available. If you love olives or dates, you’ll find more varieties here than you may have ever seen anywhere. And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the many types of fruit salad available, as well!
Be Understanding of the Culture – Especially in Rural Areas
You may find it reasonably easy to find meat-free options in larger cities with heavy tourist traffic. But it gets much more challenging in rural areas. Most Moroccans don’t understand vegetarianism. To them, offering you meat is offering you the best. They may be confused or even feel insulted if you turn it down. And even if your dish appears to be free of meat, it may still have been cooked in meat broth. This is something to consider when making your travel plans, in order to keep difficulties to a minimum.
It may not be easy to stick to your meat-free diet in Morocco. But you can do it if you are determined. One added bit of help is to consider booking a tour when traveling to rural areas. If you book a tour with us, we will do everything we can to make sure that your personal food choices are honored. Even if you don’t, we hope that these handy tips for vegetarians traveling to Morocco will help you make the very most of your Moroccan vacation!