Moroccan culture is a fusion of many neighbouring ideals and flavours. It is unique for the spices used and the elements of many cultures joining together to make something you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Every aspect of food in the culture has something to rave about. Here are a few reasons why every foodie should have the major city of Marrakesh on their foodie bucket list.
1. The Prices
In Morocco, you will run into the issue of busting your belt before your bank account. A three-course meal at one of the nicer restaurants costs only $14 and comes with huge portions. Meanwhile, at a more standard restaurant a soup costs $1 and a good tagine for $6. You can then venture into the market for a freshly squeezed orange juice for 40 cents.
2. The Medina
A foodie could walk the medina and the main square, Jemaa El Fnaa, for days. You think you’ve sampled every freshly squeezed orange juice or seen all of the 200-plus nut stands until you walk down the next lane way and find a thousand more. Need a snack? Just approach any of the booths and the vendor will scramble from his peep hole to get you a sample and try to sell you on why their almond is better than the one next door.
3. The Mint Tea
Nothing finishes off a meal like a refreshing cup of tea. In Marrakesh, anytime is tea time. Just arriving at your Riad or hotel? You’ll be greeted with tea. 40 degrees Celsius outside? Time for a tea break. Just ate enough tagine to feed four? You can top it up with some mint tea.
The magical cup consists of loose leaf green tea and a mixture of fresh herbs and mint. It is then served in an ornate pot to make you feel extra special and enhance the experience.
4. The Spices
Moroccan food is full of flavour. No dish is the same because of the multitude of spices used. No foodie could get bored with all the flavours in a meal.
5. The Tagine
Where to begin with tagine…IT’S AMAZING. Any combination of vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and meat all steamed together with spices to make endless combinations with amazing flavour. While traveling in Marrakesh, I ate two a day – one at lunch and one at dinner – and never repeated a combination. My all-time favorite was beef with roasted tomato and onion confit while others consisted of date and lamb or chicken, lemon, and olive.
6. The Side Dishes
One may think that since the main dishes are so good, side dishes are overlooked. In Marrakesh, that is not the case. The Moroccans take every aspect of a meal to the next level. You’ll find yourself deciding between a variety of flavourful side dishes or a main course.
A must-try is the eggplant salad or the assorted Moroccan salad appetizer. The appetizer includes small sizes of the classic salad like carrots with honey and sesame, eggplant and paprika, lentil and roasted red pepper and tomato. The dishes all have a distinct flavour and you won’t be able to decide on a favourite.
7. The Juices
The main square, Jemaa El Fnaa, is filled with freshly squeezed juice stands. You can get a classic orange juice for just 40 cents or any mixed fruit combination imaginable. Nothing cures the extreme temperatures like a mouthwatering, freshly pressed juiced made right in front of you.
8. The Terraces and Rooftop Restaurants
Whether you want a quiet lunch or dinner under a beautiful cabana with couches and ornate cushions or want to watch the sunset as the drums of the Medina begin, Marrakesh offers both and all imaginable in between. A must-visit is a rooftop dinner just before sunset: the Medina gets louder than during the day as street food vendors set up and drummers begin their songs while the lights of the little booths begin to glow as the sun sets in the distance.