After our recent trip to Morocco, one ingredient that really stuck with me was cumin. I haven't always been a huge fan of the spice, but in Morocco it arrives un-toasted and in large quantities. I was shocked to see how much was used on the lamb meatballs served on the street. But as soon as I took a taste, I was converted.
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Morocco is so much more than mint tea and tagines (not that we'd readily pass up either one). We spent two weeks traveling through the country, visiting oyster farms, milking goats in the mountains, and making couscous in family homes. We took our two terabytes of footage and condensed it down to just three minutes, to the tunes of an amazing Berber musician.
A North African sauce traditionally paired with grilled seafood, chermoula is a delicious mix of fresh herb, earthy spices, and acidic preserved lemon.
The main souk, Jemaa al Fnaa, in Marrakech is the largest market in Morocco. At nearly 1,000 years old, it's located in the medina, the maze-like walled central section that forms the old city. A vast courtyard that by day houses pedestrian walkways, snake charmers, magicians, water vendors, doodad dealers, dancers and all other manner of street performers surrounded by restaurants and cafés, by night it becomes a bustling world of vendors, hawkers, and full-on restaurants serving food and drink ranging from casual snacks to complete meals.
Marrakech may not be right in your neighborhood, but the food alone will make you want to start planning a trip there. If you poke around the souks long enough, a five-minute walk from the Jemaa el-Fna will lead you to the Cafe des Épices. Painted a dusty red, Cafe des Épices stands tall above the rest of the spice market square. Of course you could order another tagine, but the sandwiches are a nice change of pace. This one is packed with fresh tuna, briny olives, and juicy tomatoes.
Moroccan cuisine is one of the most diverse in the world. Rooted in centuries-old Arab and Berber tradition, it also finds inspiration from nearby France and Spain. Heady blends of spices (such as cinnamon, saffron, and turmeric) complement dishes rich...