Tag Archives: Couscous

Morocco’s Great Spice Trade, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Marrakech Spice Market

The great sea voyages of the Portuguese explorers Ferdinand Magellan, who served for a while in Morocco, Vasco de Gama and the Spanish captain Christopher Columbus expanded trade routes around the world and especially the spice trade and the security of these routes was crucial. Morocco was on the route between Europe, the Middle East and Asia and therefore acquired a number of spices as Portuguese and Spanish enclaves and ports were established along the Moroccan coast.

Spices are a key element in Moroccan cuisine. Freshly ground spices in colored mounds can be spotted in all Moroccan souks. With their distinctive smells, Moroccan spices are recommended to be used after being freshly ground.  Many spices and ingredients once imported are now home grown in Morocco such as Saffron from Talouine and Cumin from Tazarine.

Moroccan Saffron

Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world and is widely used in Moroccan cuisine for coloring and flavor. The production of one single kilogram of saffron requires 150,000 flowers. The separating of the stamen from the purple flower is  done exclusively by women.  One gram of saffron can cost on average US$6.28 depending on quality and quantity. The world market today for spices is said to be valued at US $ 4 billion.

Other Moroccan spices used include cinnamon, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, saffron, white pepper, red chili, cloves and sesame. All can be found in Moroccan souks. As of recent Morocco is now a big exporter of spices as well.  The main Moroccan spice export is Ras el Hanout which translates as the “head of shop” which is essentially a mix of over 30 spices. A Moroccan Ra el Hanout mix can be purchased or can be made along with a local shop keeper by his suggestion of spices.

Ras el Hanout can be sprinkled on chicken or fish before baking, frying or grilling. The blend of spices delivers flavor and a subtle fragrant aroma which is one of the many secrets of Moroccan cuisine. Moroccan housewives will likely have their own spice recipes for lamb tangine or couscous. The art is to develop your own spice recipes although at first you are like to follow other people’s. Spices are essential for tajines, couscous and for lamb dishes. For sweets the spice mixture bssibissa kakalu is high recommended.

Spices can be derived from a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food. Sometimes a spice is used to hide other flavors. They can have medicinal properties, garlic for instance can be an antibiotic.

In the Middle Ages spices were prized because refrigeration did not exist and therefore dried and salted meat became extremely dull fare. Spices brought to life the taste of food and inspired to otherwise less interesting dishes.

Moroccan cuisine has become increasingly popular with Moroccan restaurants springing up all over America and Europe and throughout the Middle East.

A combination of targeted publicity, excellence and a number of distinguished cookery authors such as the renowned American cookery expert Paula Wolfert, have encouraged this popularity along with tourists who have been inspired to try their hand at cooking Moroccan dishes at home. Spices are part Morocco’s international success story as a diverse and fascinating places to visit for those who are foodies and have a penchant for exotic cuisine.

Written by Colin Kilkelly

For more information about the Spice Trade or Cuisine Tours to Morocco 

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Morocco Travel

Travel Exploration Launches Culinary Trips to Morocco

Moroccan Royal Couscous

Morocco has an exceptional history of cuisine with  long standing reputation and allure for the Western traveler. Being at the crossroads of many civilizations Morocco is a mélange of Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences. Keeping up to date with new travel trends, Travel Exploration has launched a Culinary Trip to Morocco for food enthusiasts. Morocco is a key destination for foodies, adventure travelers and those who wish to explore an untouched country that is full of culinary surprise and old world culture.

Travel Exploration’s first Culinary Trip is scheduled for May 2014 and will enable travelers to experience a cultural tour whiling eating there way through Morocco’s ancient medinas, taking two of the country’s top Morocco cooking workshops and to saunter the old medina of Imperial Fez on an unforgettable Fez Food Tour. Travel Exploration’s Culinary Trip to Morocco offers a chance to discover traditional dishes in the Imperial Cities such as bastilla and couscous, bake bread bread with the Berbers in Southern Morocco and exotic eats in Marrakch’s Djemaa El Fna Square.  Travel Exploration’s first Culinary adventure to Morocco will take place over the course of 11 Days.

FOR A MOROCCO CULINARY TRIP ITINERARY EMAIL: alecia@travel-exploration.com

DATES OF TOURS 2014:
May 15th 2014 / September 15th

PRICES FOR MOROCCO CULINARY:
$5,150 single, $3,950 double occupancy
All prices are per person. Maximum of 10 people in group.

PRICES INCLUDE: Accommodations at Charming Moroccan Riads and Boutique Hotels in 4/5 Star Category, two meals per day, all cooking workshops, food tours, guided historical tours, wine tasting, and ground transportation in comfort luxury vehicle. Airfare is not included.

For More Information on  Travel Exploration’s Culinary Trip to Morocco 

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Morocco Private Tours

Morocco Cooking Vacation, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Cooking Workshop, La Maison Arabe Marrakech

When considering a Morocco Tour there are many options which will make for a unique travel experience. One way for Moroccan travelers to discover the real Morocco is through a Morocco Cooking Vacation. There are various types of Morocco Cooking vacations. Some are offered as culinary tours to Morocco with a focus on creating and making various traditional Moroccan recipes daily. A Taste of Morocco Tour offers the opportunity to discover Moroccan cuisine through cooking workshops in Marrakech, Fes and Essaouira. Morocco Just For Women on the other hand offers group lessons with other women who have come to Morocco specifically to explore the country’s culture through a womans’ eyes which includ cooking workshops.

Le Jardin Des La Medina, Cooking Workshop

When attending a Moroccan Cooking vacation the best place to start is to exploring the wide array of tour offerings and what they include. Some Morocco Cooking Vacations include more of a tasting opportunity for Moroccan cuisine. Other Morocco Cooking Vacations offer the opportunity to create a three-course meal along with recipe books.

Whether you want to come to Morocco on a Morocco Cooking Vacation or to explore Moroccan food you are guaranteed to discover the main cuisine traditions. Morocco’s main cuisine traditions are Moroccan Tajines, Moroccan Bastilla, Moroccan Couscous, Seffa Madfouna, Moroccan flat breads and Moroccan Salads.

Lahcen's Cooking Workshop, Fes

An example of a Moroccan cookery workshop that is experienced on a Morocco Cooking Vacation often includes a three-course meal.

Begin your day with a traditional Fasis cookery workshop learning the age old traditions of Fes. Fes is renowned for some of the best cuisine in Morocco and the world over. Chef Lahcen will pick you up at your Riad and take you through the souk’s spice market where you will buy fresh ingredients for your meal. In the beginning of the lesson, you will receive a booklet of 20 of the chef’s own Moroccan recipes that you will use during the lesson and then take home to try other dishes. Roll up your sleeves and put on your aprons for a few hours of hands-on cooking – Moroccan style! Feel free to take notes and pictures. Your lesson will be a three-course meal.

Morocco Cooking Workshop Menu -Learn One From Each Category: 

Entree

Briouates with Cheese, crispy triangles filled with fresh goat’s cheese
Harira, tomato-based Moroccan soup with chick peas and meat
Zaalouk, cooked eggplant and tomato salad, Carrots with Cumin Seeds, Cheese, and Coriander

Main Dishes

Couscous with seven vegetables, a semolina-based dish with meat or chicken and vegetables
Tagine with Prunes and Dates or with Apricots and almonds, made with chicken or meat
Djaj Mqalli, chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives
Pastilla (Bisteeya), a pastry-style dish with pigeon stuffing

Desserts

Served with spiced coffee or Moroccan Mint tea
Cream Pastilla, a light and crispy dessert with a cream filling
Kateef, a Moroccan pancake stuffed with cheese and almonds, topped with honey
Date Rolls, small cookies with a date paste filling

For more information about a Morocco Cooking Vacation – A Taste of Morocco

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration in the USA at 1 (800) 787-8806 or in Morocco 1 (212)618-88-26-81 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Travel Exploration

Moroccan Food & A Menu for Moroccan Appetite, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Moroccan couscous with raisins

Moroccan food is considered some of the best in the world. The easiest way to discover the true flavors of Moroccan cuisine are to take a Moroccan cooking class or explore various restaurants in Morocco’s Imperial Cities such as Marrakech, Fes, Rabat or Essaouira on a Morocco tour. Another way to discover authentic Moroccan cuisine is to dine with a local family in a Berber Village. Berber villages are known for their unique fare as result that their main staples in making Moroccan traditional cuisine such as couscous are grown locally in their fields alongside special herbs which allows for amazingly tasteful food. Moroccan recipes such as baking bread by fire and a tajine on starlit night can be learning on a Sahara desert tour to the Erg Chebbi Dunes of Merzouga whereby your camel trekking guide takes you off on a journey into the vast dunes to a Sahara camp at sunset to learn the secrets of the Sahara. To fully enjoy a Moroccan meal one must arrive with an empty stomach and then fully prepare themselves for a three or four-course Moroccan feast. As the French proverb says, “Appetite comes with eating; the more one has, the more one would have” so make sure to visit Morocco with an open palate and a big appetite!

Moroccan carrot salad

This menu and choice will give you a real taste of Moroccan food. Many variations are available.

  • Lamb Chops/Lamb burgers/Steak, Pork Chops/ Chicken Thighs
  • Carrot Salad
  • Couscous with raisins
  • Macerated Oranges

Lamb Chops/Lamb burgers/Steak, Pork Chops/ Chicken Thighs

Season the meat with salt, pepper, cumin and a touch of cinnamon (or salt pepper and ras al hanout, if you have it). If you can let is sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so, do so. Bring the meat to room temp (20 min) before cooking as desired.

Carrot Salad

Cook cleaned and sliced carrots as usual (in small amount of cold water, bring to the boil, simmer until tender, appr. 6-8 minutes). Drain. In bowl add carrots, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, lemon juice or vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil and chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or at room temp.

Couscous with Raisins

Cook couscous with small handful raisins according to package. Fluff with fork. Add lemon juice, cooked chickpeas (from the can), chopped herbs such as cilantro, parsley or mint, salt & pepper to taste. Serve hot or room temp.

Macerated Oranges

Peel oranges. Either slice or segment (supreme) oranges in a bowl. Add cinnamon, sugar or honey and ½ teaspoon rose or orange flower water. Let stand in refrigerator one hour. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Happy Cooking!

By Freya Ellinwood, Morocco Travel Writer

For more information about Moroccan Food and Recipes or a Morocco Tour

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel ExplorationTravel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Moroccan Food, Moroccan recipes, Moroccan menu, Marrakech, Fes, Rabat, Essaouira, Berber Village, Sahara Tour, Erg Chebbi Dunes, Merzouga, Couscous, Moroccan couscous with raisins, Moroccan carrot salad, Macerated oranges, Morocco Holidays, Morocco Travel, Travel Exploration, Travel to Morocco

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Moroccan Cooking Classes, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Moroccan Cooking Class Chef

Moroccan Cooking Class Chef

If you’re planning a Morocco vacation one of the best ways to discover the culture of the Maghreb is to taking a cooking class or a private, cooking course in Morocco’s Imperial Cities of Marrakech and Fes or consider a Moroccan culinary tourMarrakech and Fes offer some of the Morocco’s best cooking classes as a result of their subculture and history of fine cuisine alongside being able to lay claim to some of the best restaurants in Morocco.

A Morocco cooking class usually starts with a comprehensive introduction that highlights the importance of cooking in Moroccan society, and reviews the variety of recipes created by dadas (traditional woman cooks) over the centuries for special occasions such as marriages, holidays such as Ramadan, Eid El Kebir, Moroccan baptisms, and circumcisions.

Moroccan Spices

Moroccan Spices

Before taking a cooking class in Morocco most leading chefs will take you on a tour of the Marrakech or Fes medina on a tour and in search of the most favored spices that are used in Morocco cooking. During your medina tour you will discover spices such as fresh cumin, ginger, wild saffron grown from the Moroccan city of Talouine, indigenous sea salt from the Souss region of Agadir and pepper.

Lahcen's Cooking Class, Spice Shopping Fes

Lahcen's Cooking Class, Spice Shopping Fes

The core spices used in Moroccan cuisine include ginger, saffron, Cumin, ras el hanout (a mixture of up to 35 different spices and a famous Moroccan must in any kitchen), as well as salt and pepper. Olive oil, of which there is an abundance in Morocco, is also an essential ingredient in the local cuisine, as well as ghi (a kind of aged butter).

Most Moroccan recipes use parsley and coriander. Other important herbs such as thyme, oregano, bay leaf, rosemary and basil, are used depending on the recipe being prepared.

Traditionally, Moroccan homes used charcoal and clay pots to cook tajines or couscous. Modern Moroccan homes of course use the same gas or electric ranges found in European or American homes.

Le Jardin Des La Medina Cooking Class, Marrakech

Le Jardin Des La Medina Cooking Class, Marrakech

The cooking workshops at in Marrakech at famous five star Riads such as Le Maison Arabe and Le Jardin Des La Medina are conducted using modern equipment, so that the participants can easily prepare the dishes they have learned once they have returned to their own countries. A typical Moroccan cooking class lasts approximately 3-4 hours depending on the dish of choice you have chosen to make.

The same goes for the top cooking classes in Fes at Lahcen’s Moroccan Cooking class and culinary tour which is acclaimed by the New York Times and also at Café Clock

Before beginning your Moroccan cooking workshop, your chef will first offer an an overview of the most traditional recipes such as pastilla, couscous, and the broad variety of tajines (stews usually made with lamb or chicken), while reviewing some of the basic pillars of Moroccan cuisine.

Then the class will begin and take you away on a Moroccan adventure that will fill tempt your pallet.

Tajine La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

Tajine La Maison Arabe Cooking Class

Moroccan cooking Techniques for a typical tajine recipe calls for searing the meat, softening the onions, bringing to a boil and allowing to slowly simmer. This results in a reduced, thick sauce.

Woman Making Pastilla

Woman Making Pastilla

Techniques for pastilla and couscous will also be reviewed. Finally, before the practical part of the cooking class begins, you will be acquainted with the recipe of the day, whether it’s a chicken tajine with olives and preserved lemons, couscous or pastilla, and review the various vegetables and ingredients that will be used.

Most Moroccan cooking classes are structured around easy-to- make traditional recipes. Each participant has his or her own workstation and equipment, and follows step-by-step the preparing of that day’s dish. In a typical workshop or Moroccan cooking class you will learn how to make a main course as well as a Moroccan appetizer or salad (for example, eggplant or roasted green peppers with tomatoes).

Pigeon Pastilla

Pigeon Pastilla

When the class has finished, you will be able to savor the result of your labor by enjoying the meal you’ve prepared, in the cool shade of an olive or fig tree or in a special part of the Riad where you have taken your Moroccan cooking class.

Listed below are sample offerings that La Maison Arabe in Marrakech has as options of what you learn to cook during your Moroccan cuisine adventure. These recipes duplicated by other cooking classes in Morocco using their own chef’s unique style:

Briouate class:
-Assortment of Moroccan briouates (turnovers) – cheese, chicken ground meat, vegetables and seafood

Pastilla class (choice of):
– Chicken with almonds
– Seafood
– Vegetables

Tajine class (choice of):
– Chicken tajine with lemon and olives
– Chicken tajine M’derbel (stewed tomatoes with cinnamon and
sesame seeds).
-Chicken tajine with almonds and boiled eggs
-Lamb tajine with dates and almonds
– Lamb tajine with figs and walnuts
– Beef or lamb tajine Makfoul (steamed tomatoes with small
onions)
– Lamb tajine with prunes and apricots

Couscous class (choice of):
– Chicken or lamb with caramelized onions
– Chicken or lamb with seven vegetables

For more information about Moroccan Cooking Classes or a Morocco Culinary Tour

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Moroccan Cooking Class, Moroccan Cooking Course, Moroccan Cooking Workshop, Moroccan culinary tour, Moroccan Chefs, Moroccan cuisine, Le Maison Arabe Cooking Workshop, Le Jardin Des La Medina Cooking Class, Lahcen’s Moroccan Cooking class, Café Clock, Morocco Cooking Class, Morocco Cooking Course, Morocco Cooking Workshop, Tajine, Chicken Tajine, Beef Tajine, Lamb Tajine, Pastilla, Chicken Pastilla, Pigeon Pastilla, Vegetable Pastilla, Couscous, Morocco private tours, Morocco Holidays, Morocco Travel, Travel Exploration, Travel to Morocco

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Morocco Traditional Food, The World of Moroccan Cuisine, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan cuisine is the culinary star of North Africa. Imperial and trade influence has been filtered and blended into Morocco’s culture. Being at the crossroads of many civilizations, the cuisine of Morocco is a mélange of Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences.

Moroccan cooking is enhanced with fruits, dried and fresh — apricots, dates, figs, and raisins, to name a few. Lemons preserved in a salt-lemon juice mixture bring a unique face to many Moroccan chicken and pigeon dishes. Nuts are prominent; pine nuts, almonds, and pistachios show up in all sorts of unexpected places.

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan sweets are rich and dense confections of cinnamon, almond, and fruit perfumes that are rolled in filo dough, soaked in honey, and stirred into puddings. The cooks in the royal kitchens of Fes, Meknes, Marrakech, Rabat and Tetouan refined Moroccan cuisine over the centuries and created the basis for what is known as Moroccan cuisine today. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food.

While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron from Taliouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fes, are home-grown. Common spices include karfa (cinnamon), kamoun (cumin), kharkoum (turmeric), skingbir (ginger), libzar (pepper) , tahmira (paprika), anis seed, sesame seed, kasbour (coriander), maadnous (parsley), zaafrane beldi (saffron) and mint.

Moroccan Food

Moroccan Food

Traditional Food in Morocco is eaten at breakfast, lunh and dinner as well as on high holy holidays such as Ramadan and Eid El Kebir. The various types of Moroccan traditional cuisine include the Moroccan tajine and Moroccan couscous. Moroccans also have a penchant for fruit juice, Arabic coffee and mint tea along with their accompaniment of dates, nuts, deserts and pastries.

When taking a Moroccan holiday, make sure to expand your pallet by allowing yourself to enjoy a true a taste of Moroccan cuisine.

For more information about Morocco Traditional Food or A Taste of Morocco Tour

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Morocco Traditional Food, Traditional Food of Morocco, Moroccan Spices, Moroccan Cooking, Arab Food, Middle Eastern Food, Jewish Food, French Food, Ramadan, Eid El Kebir, Moroccan holiday, Taliouine, Moroccan Saffron, A Taste of Morocco, Morocco Cuisine Tour, Moroccan Cooking Tour, Moroccan Cooking Classes, Moroccan dried fruit, The World of Moroccan Cuisine, Moroccan Tajine,Moroccan Couscous, Tajine, Couscous, Moroccan Dates, Arabic Coffee, Moroccan Mint Tea, Mint Tea, Moroccan fruit juice, Moroccan sweets, Moroccan preserved lemons, Moroccan cuisine, Morocco private tours, Morocco Holidays, Morocco Travel, Travel Exploration, Travel to Morocco

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Taste of Morocco: Vegetarian Dining The Amanouz Cafe

amanouz cafeAfter reading all about the traditional cuisine and sweet mint tea of Morocco I was more than ready to experience it myself when I headed to Amanouz Café in Northampton, Massachusetts. Located on Main Street this unassuming café specializes in the mouth-watering aromas and sumptuous tastes of Moroccan cuisine transporting it from the North African Sahara to this small New England town.

As I made my way to Amanouz Café on a sunny March afternoon I started wondering if I would be able to find anything on the menu that I would actually be able to eat. As a non meat-eater I have found myself in many situations at restaurants where I am forced to nibble on a few lettuce leaves or find myself, once again, ordering the tuna melt because every other option on the menu is loaded with meat. Having read up on Moroccan cuisine I knew that many of the dishes were stews that focused on meats such as chicken or beef and that lamb was often the king of the Moroccan table. Needless to say, Amanouz Café was not about to disappoint me and I walked away from my lunch incredibly full and tremendously satisfied.

Amanouz Cafe

vegetarian tajine Sitting at one of the small tables in the casual dining area at Amanouz Café I let the soothing Moroccan music wash over me as I surveyed the scene. The walls of the café are lined with the work of local artists and a small bookcase contains pictures and informational books on Mediterranean and Moroccan cultures. Having arrived just before the lunch rush the atmosphere is calm and hushed with many customers sitting alone with a book or a laptop, sipping on their tea and enjoying a moment’s peace. The kitchen is at the back of the dining area, allowing patrons to see and smell their meals being prepared with a large counter sectioning it off from the dining area. The counter itself is covered with sweet Mediterranean and Moroccan treats, from honey-filled pastries to pistachio nut-covered cakes. The aromas wafting from the kitchen remind my stomach how hungry it is and I turn my attention to the menu…

A Vegetarian Moroccan Meal

To my surprise, and delight, the menu at Amanouz Café was full of vegetarian options and vegetarian versions of classic Moroccan meals. What I didn’t realize is that meat is often a specialty item, especially for Moroccan peasants, and so many dishes featured vegetables and couscous with fish rather than meat. Fresh vegetables, herbs, breads, fish, couscous, and olives are main staples in Moroccan cuisine which means that as a vegetarian I still get to enjoy the traditional, and delicious, Moroccan meals.

Moroccan Mint Tea

The tea came served in a traditional metal tea pot with a water glass that had fresh mint leaves at the bottom. The sweet minty flavor of the tea was absolutely delicious and made me understand the reason for its popularity in Morocco.

Moroccan Sardine Salad

The Sardine salad came next, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, a hard boiled egg and peppers topped with a Moroccan salsa, fresh sardine fillets, and sprinkled with fresh cilantro. Delicious, fresh, and simple, the perfect start to my Moroccan meal.

Moroccan Pizza

Next came the Amanouz pizza, a Moroccan twist on an Italian classic. This individual sized pizza, made on Moroccan pita bread rather than pizza crust, had an ingenious assortment of roasted peppers, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, onions, and olives; needless to say it wasn’t left sitting on the plate for very long!

Traditional Moroccan Lentil soup

The soup of the day at Amanouz Café was traditional Moroccan Lentil soup. A thick, dark, and rich soup chock full of tender lentils and finished off with a swirl of olive oil. The soup made a surprisingly delicious, and extremely filling, contribution to the meal.

Tagine Fish

To my delight I found that not all tagine dishes in Moroccan cuisine focused on meat, this tagine was a stew that consisted of rice, tomatoes, grilled green peppers, and finished with large balls of fish meat on the top. The fish balls were topped with slices of fresh lemon, grated carrots, and fresh parsley and cilantro. It was presented in a traditional tagine by the server who ceremoniously took off the top of the dish allowing the amazing aromas to waft out.

Moroccan Couscous

To accompany the tagine I had a side order of traditional Moroccan couscous. The couscous was light and fluffy and seasoned with just enough salt and pepper and finished off with a sprinkling of parsley. It made a great addition to the fish tagine but was also delicious enough to eat on its own. It is quite obvious why Moroccans serve couscous at every meal, as a versatile and delicious dish couscous can make a great addition to any meal or be a meal by itself.

My vegetarian Moroccan adventure came to a close with more Moroccan mint tea and a few nibbles of the delicious sweet pastries from the counter. Extremely full and more than satisfied by my delicious lunch I walked away from Amanouz Café that afternoon already planning what to order during my next visit. With so many delicious vegetarian options I was happy to know that I could enjoy traditional Moroccan cuisine in such a wonderful atmosphere so close to home.

travel-exploration-signature-logo-link13

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Google on call Travel Exploration at (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

5 Comments

Filed under General, Morocco Travel, Photos, Recipes