Let your family experience a true cultural melting pot by taking a family vacation to Morocco. It’s location in Northern Africa, at the confluence of Arabic, Mediterranean, Andalusian, European, and Subsaharan cultures, has helped Morocco develop a truly unique and delicious culinary history. The mix of Mediterranean and Arab spices painting the vegetables, couscous and meat on your plate. The base of many Moroccan dishes are things that you eat at home now, making them super easy to explain to kids and any fussy eaters! Here are a few things you should expect to eat on your family vacation in Morocco.
A traditional food of the indigenous Berber people, couscous is a staple food in many North African countries. Couscous is made by steaming balls of durum wheat semolina and then crushing them together into a bed of deliciousness. This light and fluffy starch is usually covered with stew, vegetables or grilled meat. It’s just like rice! That’s the way we like to tell our kids about it.
Cooked Vegetable Salad
Unlike a typical salad at home, mainly lettuce with raw vegetables, in Morocco it’s a medley of cooked vegetables. Some of the vegetables you may eat regularly: green peppers, cucumbers, carrots, peas, spinach, onions and zucchini. Then there are some that you may not regularly have: mallow leaves, salaouia, artichokes, leeks and parsnips. Add all of these together and cook with some spices and it will be a salad like you’ve never had!
This is one of the main sources of protein in Moroccan cooking. We’ll come across several types of lamb dishes from grilled lamb chops to kefta (seasoned ground lamb). One of the most popular and delicious lamb meals in lamb tangine. This is a slow cooked stew that blends lamb with several spices including cumin, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric. We tell our fussy eaters that it’s just a soup.
If someone is too fussy for lamb, don’t fear because chicken is always near! We’ll come across chicken tangine, roasted chicken breast with lemons and olives and grilled in Moroccan spices. The spices give the chicken here an exciting flavor.
There are many different styles of bread to try in Morocco. Many breads are flatbreads and cooked on top of a flame, not baked in an oven. A few of our favorites are batbout, a pocket bread that can be stuffed like a pita, harcha, a sweeter bread that goes well with jams and tea, mahrash, a hearty wheat and barley bread, and khboz, typically served as a thick round loaf. That’s only the tip of the iceberg for Moroccan breads!
Moroccans are incredibly kind people and are always ready to offer guests and travelers a cup of mint tea. Made by steeping mint leaves with green tea leaves, this is the most popular tea in Morocco. We’ll have plenty of chances to try this delightful drink.
Dates are very popular snack in Morocco, especially around the Eid holiday. A date is the fruit that flowers from the date palm tree. Usually dried and then eaten, this is one of the sweetest fruits you can come across. The most popular date is the Medjool date which used to only be grown and harvested for Moroccan royalty. Medjool dates taste a lot like caramel, so we tell our kids that they’re candy. It’s almost hard to believe that they’re a fruit!