Take to the streets of Morocco and you can find a plethora of foods, from sweet, to savory to strange. Right now I live at the end of the bustling street market, aka souk, within the medina of Rabat, Morocco’s Capital. Let me take you on a little tour of all of the delicious fares to be found here.
Starting fresh, piled high on wheeled carts are cactus fruits, prepared by the vendors to be eaten on the street. These dangerous little fruits have a mango-like consistency and a mild, sweet flavor.
One of my favorite snacks comes from the nougat vendors. You offer them how much you’ve got to spend and these vendors hack off a chunk of nougat from these huge slabs, left open to the air. Beware of the hornets that love attacking these sticky treats, but don’t let them stop you from giving it a try.
Moroccan donuts are sugared and handed to you straight out of the deep fryer. They are a popular treat with an expected line along the street. Made from yeast dough and rolled by hand, are a delicious snack that are surprisingly light and fluffy.
As for the “strange” part, try the tender grilled cow cheek available by the entrance to the medina. The smells of the grilling beef are enough to change any onlooker’s mind about the giant cow skulls used to ornament the grill. The yummy meat gets stuffed in a pocket of fresh khubz.
If there’s anything a Moroccan loves most it’s sugar. Just past the aromas of grilled meat, is the shebakia. These little honey-drenched pastries are made from flour and rose or orange blossom water, fried and then smothered with fresh miel (or honey) and sesame seeds.
Escarole, or snail soup, is inspired from previous French colonization. Some drink just the broth or pick out and eat the chewy snails marinating in it. While I am not personally a big fan of Escargot, it is rumored to be very good for your health.
Lets finish it off with fresh-squeezed orange juice better than I have ever had. A Moroccan mega-crop, oranges are cheap and sweet. These stands juice fresh oranges on the spot for a mere 50 cents USD.
It all goes to show, eat what the locals eat. Cheap, delicious and fresh, Morocco’s street food culture is among the best.