Classic Foods You Have to Try in Morocco

I spent ten days exploring the kingdom of Morocco and every day was filled with meals fit for royalty. In Morocco food isn’t just something you consume to keep you going, it’s an experience that typically brings friends and family together. Most meals in Morocco are served “family style”, meaning the dishes are big and made for many to share.

You can’t go to Morocco with a closed mind, expecting the ‘best of the west’ to be at your beckoning call. Here the cuisine is a fusion of Arabic, Andalusian, Berber and Mediterranean – making for a delectable mix of flavors.

While I toured Morocco with a more traditional organized tour (and organized meals), my friend Jay from The Dishelin Guide explored “off the beaten path” Morocco and got to dine on some street eats that have me ready to book my next flight back to Morocco! Jay and I teamed up to give you the best of the best of “ what to eat in Morocco ” and traditional foods you have to try when visiting Morocco!

  1. Tagine

As I explained in my post, 17 Experiences to Have in Morocco, tagine isn’t a specific dish but rather the clay or ceramic cookware that many dishes are prepared in – typically, in “slow cooked” style meals.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackiePhoto of lemon, chicken tagine from Jay at The Dishelin Guide (www.dishelinguide.com).

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieThis beef tagine was served ‘shakshouka’ style with cracked eggs over the tomato based meat stew.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieJay indulged in this lamb Kefta (or meatball) tagine.

  1. All the Sweets

Morocco does so many things right when it comes to their cuisine and the sweet treats are no exception. From cookies to flaky pastries to “meskouta” (the word for cake in Morocco) – Moroccans sure know how to please with their post meal sweets. What I loved most about Moroccan desserts is that they were simple, often paired with fruit (like cinnamon dusted oranges, yum) and generally didn’t leave me feeling guilty for indulging in dessert after a larger Moroccan meal.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieThese pastries were filled with nuts and served in a honey syrup. *swoon*

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieDining at Dar Moha in Marrakech was an experience and a half and the dessert did not disappoint.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieThis more traditional plate of cookies and pastries (paired with mint tea, of course) brought all the ladies to the court-yard.

  1. Mint Tea

If you visit Morocco and don’t try mint tea, at least once, did you really visit Morocco? Some speculate that mint tea was introduced to Morocco as early as the 12th century – others insinuate that it was only adopted in the 18th century – either way, they’ve perfected the sweet, minty rendition of green tea, right down the way that it is poured!

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieMint tea is typically served hot in these short glasses, hold the glass as such to avoid burning your fingers!

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieJay captured the infamous mint Moroccan tea pour, flawlessly.

  1. Olives

I’ve tried olives from all over the world and all around the Mediterranean but nothing, I repeat, NOTHING has compared to the delectable olives I tasted in Morocco. The flavor of the olives, whether marinated or not, was addicting (we even had to ask, more than once, for extra plates of olives to be served at our table).

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieI, very seriously, regret not bringing home any Moroccan olives! My favorite was the light green with hints of tan in the bottom right corner.

  1. Salads

Oh, Moroccan salad. <3 Whereas “salad” for Americans is typically a form of lettuce or greens topped with an assortment of veggies, fruits or nuts and a dressing, salad for Moroccan’s is the first course of any meal. Typically, a Moroccan salad consists of five to ten salad dishes, some of these dishes are served hot, others cold. Ranging from steamed lamb brain (admittedly, I skipped that dish) to a delicious eggplant dip, cold marinated cucumbers or tomatoes, steamed carrots, or even a simple plate of olives.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieA typical Moroccan salad spread.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieSome Moroccan salads are served all on one giant ‘family style’ dish.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieMoroccan salad also makes for a great Instagram-worthy opportunity!

  1. Camel

The closest I came to camel meat was a stall selling it in the Fez Medina. However, Jay was able to try some on his own! It won’t be so easy to find on a regular menu but you can do as Jay did and buy it at the butcher shop (I, clearly, missed my opportunity) and have it cooked for you right in the medina!

Jay describes the taste of camel meat as a “lean red variety similar to bison” and notes that it’s typically eaten “as a camel ‘burger’ which is really more of a meatball sandwich”. Jay also noted that some may be opposed to the idea of eating camel, however, they’re currently overpopulating the country and have no natural predators – so fret not when trying a camel dish in Morocco.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With Jackie

  1. Pastilla

Pastilla is a traditional Andaulsian dish that is similar to a ‘pot pie’ and were regularly filled with pigeons! Modern adaptations to the pastilla typically consist of chicken or some sort of fish. The dish itself is a perfect combination of sweet and savory, the crisp, crepe like exterior is sweet as it’s garnished with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon and the interior (whether meat or fish) is combined with onions, oil, and various spices. Unfortunately, the day we had pastilla on our menu, I wasn’t feeling too hot (or rather, I was feeling a tad too hot and I tend to lose my appetite when I’m in hot/humid weather).

Jay, on the other hand, explained that the sweet icing layer on the top of the chicken pastilla he tried was (understandably) “a little too much” for his taste – but that he fully enjoyed his sugarless-seafood pastilla which was filled with shrimp, squid, saffron and noodles – he even claimed it to be his favorite dish of the trip!

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieOne of my sole regrets of my trip to Morocco was not tapping into this perfectly plated pastilla!

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieJay, however, tore his pastilla apart! (In every good way possible.)

  1. Couscous

Couscous is a primary dish served in Morocco and is usually served with some form of a stew on top. Sometimes you can find couscous in the bottom of a tagine dish but we were informed that the couscous is cooked separately and then later added into the bottom of the tagine dish. With Berber origins of over 2,000 years old – it’s safe to say that they have gotten the couscous prep down to a science and if you’re a vegetarian this will almost always be a go-to for you in Morocco. As Jay noted, the typical veggies of carrots, cabbage and squash may be more on the soggy side. I preferred it this way as I combined it with the meat dishes from the tagine and dove into culinary heaven.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieCouscous dishes so nice you’ll have to take photos twice! The dishes were so delectable we couldn’t wait for photo ops to dive in!

  1. Dates (& more dates…)

Stuffed dates, candied dates, dates served with beef… Morocco is home to over forty-five different kind of dates and there’s no shortage on how to prepare or serve them. My favorite dates were stuffed with walnuts and served with a sweet milk on the side.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieThese stuffed dates were a welcome snack at Riad Maison Bleu in Fez, and were perfect for a courtyard photo-op.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieI loved the sweet milk that was served with the stuffed dates.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieAnd just in case you need a reminder, dates, dates and more dates!!!

  1. Fresh Produce

While tourism reigns supreme for Morocco’s economy, a strong second is their agriculture business. Exportation of fruits and vegetables is the country’s second largest economy and it’s no wonder why. Every bite of fruit I tasted was the best I’ve had in my life and guess what? They don’t believe in GMO’s or pesticides.

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With JackieA cart of fresh veggies making its way to the Fez Medina, look at how beautiful those turnips are!

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What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With Jackie

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With Jackie

What to Eat in Morocco - Get Lost With Jackie

 

*Disclaimer: I was hosted in Morocco as a guest of the Moroccan National Tourism Office. My opinions, as always, remain my own.

 

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45 responses to “Classic Foods You Have to Try in Morocco”

  1. Tasha Amy says:

    Oh wow looks delicious! Lucky I don’t live there as I would do nothing but eat all day. I am not too sure about the camel though! Though, I am drooling looking at that photo of the nut pastries with honey syrup. Yum!

  2. Marie Eloise says:

    The foods look tasty! Indeed, food fixes everything. 🙂

  3. Eniko says:

    Eh food posts always make me hungry! I think I would really enjoy Moroccon dishes as I love mint tea and that lamb kefta looks delicious!
    Also I would love to try camel meat. Glad you mentioned they are overpopulated, it makes me feel less guilty! 🙂

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      I totally wish I knew beforehand RE: camel population, I probably would’ve gone a little more out of my way to try it!

  4. Penny says:

    I love olives but they aren’t grown in the part of the world that we live in. We have to pick them out of those pre-sealed containers so I quite frankly have no idea what fresh olives taste like. More scandalous would be the fact that I did not know that there were so many variants of olives!

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      haha, yeah – no olive has been the same since Morocco. I’ve even gone through the entire aisle at multiple grocery stores looking for olives from Morocco, haha. The amount of varieties of olives is quite scandalous LOL.

    • LumaLu says:

      I recommend Cafe Clock in the Fez Medina for an American treat on your trip. A little over half way through my 12 day trip, I was missing American food. We found Cafe Clock and its unique story and decided to try it. The burger tastes like bison and was a great treat to my palette as I was craving char-grilled beef. Most of the beef couscous dishes are a bit more fatty than I like and not my idea of a good meal. But Cafe Clock’s camel burger was perfectly seasoned and a welcome taste of America.

      • Jacklyn Shields says:

        It’s so good to know that I can easily try camel burgers next time I go back! Thanks so much for the tip, as well as for reading! <3

  5. Incredible article. I got hungry just reading it, especially knowing how delicious Moroccan food is. One of the most exciting parts about exploring that beautiful country is definitely the food scene…can’t wait to go back and try the camel burger again, I can’t say it tasted like chicken, but it was quite a treat! 🙂

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      I couldn’t agree more – exploring a country via the cuisine is one of my favorite ways to explore! I’d definitely try out the camel burger my second time around!

  6. Eva says:

    This was a great read! I can’t wait to try for myself all these delicacies in Morocco one day!

  7. Nikki says:

    Omg, it all looks so good! I loved seeing your snaps on Instagram of your Morocco trip. Do you know if any of these are Morocco’s national dish? I do a series on cooking national dishes and I’d love to do Morocco next. All my research online says cous cous!

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      Thanks so much for your compliments! I’d definitely say either the cous cous or tagine would be their national dish, for sure!

  8. This makes me want to jump on a plane or boat and make my way back to Morocco which was such a joy to explore and the FOOD was one of the best things… but you already knew that! Didn’t try camel either but never even saw it for sale. I wouldn’t have wanted to after my magical journey into the Sahara on one. Mine was named Bob Marley ? I hope I’m able to get back soon, soak up the sun, drink the Tea (FAVORITE) and explore more of the waked cities and history! Also, did you get to try an avocado shake while you were there? Sooooo YUM!

  9. Pascale says:

    What better way to get the real taste of a country! The most delicious post, thank you!

  10. Brianna says:

    I had no idea there was so much delicious food in Morocco! I have a serious sweet tooth when I travel, and it looks like that will not be a problem in Morocco.

  11. Christina says:

    Oh. My. GOD!!!! EVERYTHING LOOKS SO GOOD. Sorry for my enthusiasm, but I am going to Morocco in September and could not be more excited for my trip (and the inevitable 15 pounds I’m going to gain…)! Tagine and dates with sweet milk?? I can’t wait.

  12. Rajlakshmi says:

    The salad looks so scrumptious. I am specially fascinated by Mint tea. I thought it is served cold, but this one looks different. I have never eaten dates with milk… should give it a try. 🙂 Loved looking at all the food pictures.

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      Nope, it was served hot! Which was a bit confusing to me, also, as it was so hot out I figured it’d be cold too. The milk served with the dates was sweetened and so delicious!

  13. Leigh says:

    Oh wow! Morocco looks like a foodie city – never knew!

  14. Ok now I’m hungry! Morocco knows how to do food, especially them pastries yum – Great post 🙂

  15. Ania Travels says:

    Oh my goodness I forgot how much I missed moroccan food until this post. AND THE TEAAAAA <3. I had no idea that they ate camel meat though.

  16. Lucy says:

    This was fantastic to read! I love dates, but have not tried the 45 different types! I need to go back to Morocco!

  17. Allison says:

    When I saw the title I just knew Tagline would be number 1. It’s one of my favourites. I haven’t been to Morocco but I love the food.

  18. Nicole says:

    Such gorgeous food! I’m vegan and the salads and cous cous look delicious. I’ve only recently started liking olives in the last 6 months or so (does that make me grown up now?) and wow that variety is incredible, the purple ones at the front look particularly intiguing.

  19. Joanna says:

    This is such an on time post! I’ll be visiting Morocco with friends next month. Thanks for the suggestions.

  20. Megan says:

    Mouth-watering post! I want to try the honey & nut filled pastries, and the Moroccan salad looks like a wonderful blend of flavors. I have to say, when I first got to the olives picture, I thought they were jelly beans – which seemed wrong. I’m intrigued by all the colors of the olives, I’d love to try them!

  21. Leigh says:

    I seriously did not know Morocco was such a foodie place! I love Tagine so I cannot wait to visit and try an authentic one – I’m not surprised it’s on your list of experiences to have in Morocco. The stuffed dates and salads look delicious too but I’m not sure I could eat the camel either! Just seems to weird! I would also try a mint tea considering that’s also a Moroccan experience 🙂

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      The mint tea was so delicious! I’d totally opt for stuffed dates and Moroccan salad over camel – LOL.

  22. Magnificent post, I’ve never been to Morocco, but have annoyed Moroccan food and relished it. Would love to holiday Marrakech and bash that Tangia.

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