Although I recently claimed Montréal to be a very multicultural city, which it is, I had never eaten any typical Moroccan dishes before traveling to Morocco (I don’t count things like hummus as a typical Moroccan dish). Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised and loved many of the dishes. I loved tajine so much that I cooked some at least twice a month for the 6 months following my return from Morocco (speaking of which, I’m definitely due to make some very soon).
So, might as well start things off with my favorite dish: tajine. This is something I ate throughout the trip, as it is one of the most recognized Moroccan dishes and I had the pleasure of learning how to prepare it. Usually chicken meat is used, but beef can be as well. The five essential spices are: ginger, ground coriander, onion, garlic and cumin. Often served as an accompaniment to tajine is couscous. However, couscous can be prepared in other ways as well, like a cold salad. Vita, who is a vegetarian, ended up eating a lot of vegetarian tajines which were served on top of a bed of plain couscous.
Figs were also a huge part of my discovery process. They are not limited to Morocco, but are very popular and found in many of the marketplaces. I had never eaten fresh figs before (they’re not super common in Montréal grocery stores) so when I finally had one, I liked it so much that I proceeded to eat about twenty more (I definitely had a fig overdose that day). They were just so good, sweet and juicy. Ever since Morocco, I have purchased some a few times in Montréal, but they’re never quite as good as they were in Morocco.
Another one of my Moroccan favorites was fresh mint tea. Basically, they steep dark tea, add a bunch of fresh mint and a good amount of sugar. Therefore, you end up with a deliciously sweet tea, that has a wonderful mint flavor, unlike those sachets you buy at the grocery store. If I had any hopes of losing weight while in Morocco, it didn’t work, as I consumed a ridiculous amount of sugar from all the mint teas I drank.
Okay, back to the “real” food now. This one isn’t specific to Morocco, but the way they prepare it was delicious. I ate a dish of kefta meatballs (probably beef), which were cooked in a savoury tomato sauce and topped with an egg, kind of like shakshuka. This was another one of my favorites.
In Marrakesh, there was a lot of street food opportunities, especially in the medina. One night, we chose one of the hundred stalls and ate some delicious grilled vegetables, tomato salad and chicken kebabs (vegetarian only for Vita). I also had the pleasure of eating some sort of “burger” one afternoon, that was very good and cheap.
Something that was very typical to Moroccan cuisine, was the assortment and variety of cold salads which were found on many restaurant menus. You’ll see below that we ate some at a café in Marrakesh, but they were available in most cities. Some were better than others, especially the eggplant based ones.
As you should know by now, pasta is love and I obviously had to eat some at some point, even in Morocco. I decided to take the opportunity to do this in Essaouira, where we chose a nice restaurant by the ocean. I ordered the seafood pasta, while Emma opted for a huge grilled fish.
I decided to keep the best for last, which was Kafe Fnaque Berbere, a café/restaurant in the heart of the Marrakesh Medina. This was my favorite Moroccan restaurant, which I tried to eat at as often as I could (I made it a total of three times). All of their dishes were amazingly delicious and the prices were cheap for the quality of the food you were served. To make things even better, they had a great a great rooftop terraces with views over the medina and the nearby sights. My favorite dish was the almond chicken, as it was cooked in a type of flavored broth that was just so yummy (it tasted a lot like coriander, which I love). I ate got to sample a few of their other dishes, like: the beef tagine, a mixed salads platter, their hummus and a minty couscous salad. If you are in Marrakesh, you must go eat at Kafe Fnaque Berbere!
UP NEXT: on revient à Montréal pour ma critique du bistro Elda!
*All photos are my own, or taken by someone with my device. Exceptionally for this trip, some photos were taken by or belong to my friend Vita, as I experienced some phone issues while in Casablanca and Fès. Thanks Vita 🙂