Moroccan Food

Posted by sue on November 15th, 2006

In response to heavy demand (okay, Jeanene asked), a word about eating in Morocco.

The food, in theory, is very good, and very similar to the food we had at Moroccan restaurants in L.A. The main dish here is tagine, a kind of stew/casserole dish made in a clay dish with a conical lid (called a tagine). It can have different ingredients– we most commonly see chicken or beef with vegetables, but it could be just about anything. And of course there’s couscous, usually prepared with meat and vegetables and sauce. Both tagine and couscous are typically eaten with your fingers (right hand only!) with pieces of bread to scoop out the food. And finally, one of our favorite things is pastilla, which is usually sweet chicken with cinnamon inside a pastry.

However, the delicious potential of Moroccan cooking is sadly not met in most of the restaurants we’ve eaten in. They just don’t have much of a restaurant culture here, so most people cook their big meals at home, so your best bet is “home cooking.” The best tagine I’ve had in Fez was at a group dinner at the student residence prepared by a very nice Moroccan woman named Leila, and the tagine prepared in caves (no joke!) by Berber women we had by the river on our field trip was also quite good. We do hear that there are some more expensive places in the medina with good food, but we’re trying to economize. We will have to splurge at some point.

Somewhat oddly, the best pastilla we’ve had was in a restaurant just around the corner from ALIF, which is an Italian place run by a nice Australian woman named Juliet.

By this point, I’ve had so much ho-hum restaurant food that I’m just not that excited to eat out, so Len and I make simple food at home. It is cheaper and healthier, but it’s funny that now that we’re actually cooking at home as much as we can, we don’t have our nice Calphalon pans or pile of utensils. We have a couple of cheapie pans, 4 forks, 3 spoons, 3 knives, 2 plates and 2 bowls. If we ever invite anyone over, we’ll have to buy more.

5 Responses to “Moroccan Food”

  1. Sean Says:

    Dude, I LOVE Australian-Italian-Moroccan food!!

  2. Jeanene Carvajal Says:

    What? No sushi! Augggggh! Any Mexican Food? Hamburgers? What about cookie dough? How could anybody live without these! I admire your strength.

    Any Australian food? Like in Outback?

    You need to get an extra dish and fork for me when I come visit. I am not sharing with Len. He uses his left hand!

  3. Jeanene Carvajal Says:

    I almost forgot! You need to learn to say the following phrases in Arabic before my visit:
    1.- 3 coronas and 2 women please
    2.- Do you serve Nigiri Sushi?
    3.- May I please have some Tapatio?
    4.- Officer, it just jumped right out infront of me!
    5.- I would like to have the special.
    6.- What is your best offer for my blonde friend here?
    7.- Did I mention she can play the piano? That has to be worth more.
    8.- Fine but you are getting her for a steal.
    9.- No, I am not interested in that. However if I were I would offer a quarter of the price you have listed there.
    10.- See this tall gentleman, he may look thin but he is a strong worker. He will do good work for you. I will not take less than double your offer.

  4. Daniel Says:

    Ug. And your kitchen at the house was friggn’ sweet! But, there is little adventure in cooking in your own kitchen and many memories to be had in a small, under equipped, far away kitchen. The food you cook now will always nurish you, and the kitchen you return to will never be taken for granted again.

    Thinking of you both,

    Daniel and Trudy

  5. Cathy Says:

    Mom H is very concerned about your camera charger. She didn’t insure it. She sent it two weeks ago. Now she would like all pertinent information to try to get you a new one. Then she’ll try sending again with insurance this time.

    Contrary to appearances the farm now has satellite internet service!

    –I remain the Mom H puppetmaster.

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