Explore Morocco’s Imperial Cities & Delve into Moroccan Cuisine
Moroccan cuisine is one of the richest in the world, and here you will find that influences from the Amazigh, Arabic and Andalusian cultures are heavily present in Moroccan gastronomy.
The Taste of Morocco – A 4-Day Culinary Peregrination
Led by Moroccan Chefs you will explore souks and ancient medinas to discover the best ingredients and taste authentic street food while shopping for select quality victuals that you will then use to create a delicious meal under the guidance of your chef. Spend a day reconnoitring some of Morocco’s best wineries, delve into the culture arabian wines while tasting select vintages.
A Culinary Extravaganza in Morocco’s Imperial Cities.
Learn the secrets to making some Morocco’s most quintessential dishes, savor the flavors and aromas of North Africa, samples some of the finest wines produced in this mystical Arabic country, hunt for treasures and soak in the furor of centuries old souks, while descending deep into Medieval Medinas, through intricate labyrinths bursting of vendors, merchants, and patrons, here all your senses will be jolted to life.
Morocco cuisine is a potent blend of Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences. Entrées frequently feature dried and fresh fruits – apricots, dates, figs, and raisins, to name a few. Nuts are popular too with pine nuts, almonds, and pistachios showing up in all sorts of dishes. Morocco has imported spices for thousands of years, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, pepper, paprika, saffron, aniseed, sesame seed and coriander are staples in Moroccan cuisine along with prominent herbs like coriander leaf, parsley, and mint. When thinking of Moroccan fare, delicious aromatic entrées come to mind, like the savory lamb and apricot or beef with prunes and almonds tajines. Traditional Moroccan tajines are cooked using a method unique to North Africa.
A Bon Vivant’s Tour of the Imperial Cities
Fes – Discover this UNESCO city’s savory and exotic cuisine on a Food Tour led by a renowned chef.
Morocco’s ancient Trade Routes, Spice Markets, Souks and Rural Markets come to life in a whole new way when explored with a local chef. Descend into astringed medinas and experience the furor of Fez’s bustling souks. The first of three souks one our tour is the fresh-produce souk – R’cif – teeming with Moroccan housewife’s who haggle over bounteous stalls laden with plump fruit and vegetables brought in from farms in the Middle Atlas. The second is the meat souks where you will meet the infamously grumpy camel butcher whose signage is an actual camel’s head hanging from a hook. The third souk is the honey souk where you will taste an array of delicious wild honeys, deliberate their flavors and health-giving properties. And learn why honey is so important in Moroccan cooking and the Islamic culture.
Deep in the souk, we find the Achabine area, it is here the city’s best street food vendors ply their trade. We will sample famous dishes that literally have built this city, like comforting bessara (split-pea or broad-bean soup) and harira (a Moroccan staple of chickpeas, lentils, and lamb broth); sardines doused in chermoula and deep-fried until crunchy; hard-boiled eggs dipped in cumin; bite-sized brochettes of tender lamb and spiced liver.
Meknes – Domaine de la Zouina is a historic winery in Meknes, wines made here are often said to be some of the best in Morocco
It comes as quite a surprise to many people that Morocco, a Muslim country, produces wine, but wine has been produced in North Africa for least 2,500 years. Wine production began as early as the 12 century BC when the Phoenicians colonized the North African Coast and continued with the Roman Empire exporting wines to Rome, then it was rumored that in the 9th century the country’s first Arab dynasty gave a dispensation to make wine for the Berber tribes.
During the French protectorate years in the first half of the 20th century wine production boomed in Morocco. At its peak in the 1950s over 300 million litres of wine was produced yearly. However, with independence from France in 1956 Morocco’s wine industry collapsed with the loss of its winemaking expertise, consumers, and main export market. In the late 1950s Morocco as an independent country managed to keep a limited production going, mostly in the form of a powerful stuff known as ‘vins médicins’, medicine wine, used to fortify weaker French wines. Then in the 1990s the European Union banned blending wine from elsewhere with its production. So, Morocco finally turned to creating its own labels in the late 1990s.
Today, Moroccan wine is in a state of revival and wine producers are taking advantage of the country’s sunny, mild temperate climate, and high altitudes to grow bold red and white grapes which currently breaks down into a production ratio like this, red wine dominates, with over 75 per cent of production; rosé wines and vin gris account for almost 20 per cent, and white wine for the remaining five per cent.
And, with the production of some 40 million bottles a year Morocco is one of the largest wine producers in the Muslim world. Most of the wine produced is everyday vin de table. However, from around 2010 a new breed of producers entered the Moroccan wine scene and began experimenting with a variety of vines and the quality of Moroccan wines has risen enormously, receiving international accolades and several awards.
Marrackech, Morocco’s Red City a taste of the exotic. It’s very name conjures up spices, snake-charmers, and sensual delights.
Marrakech is one of the most evocative, mouth-watering, and distinctive destinations for food lovers. Its food is steeped with Berber and Arabic influences, eating here is a great adventure.
Historically Marrakech was one of North Africa’s main trading posts and markets. Spices, mezze, fruits and goods were carried up Eastern Saharan trade routes by camel; bring with them a strong Arabian influence. Also, French rule has left its mark. Notably, stews are scented with honey and saffron, cumin, preserved lemon, olives, and dates. Stalls in the medina are piled high with spices and mint and figs.
Tanjia Al Marrakchia, a local specialty from Marrakech; is named after the clay pot in which the dish is cooked. Tanjia is, therefore, a dish that is traditionally prepared by putting the pieces of lamb or veal in the clay pot then sealed with paper and tied over the neck with a string or wire. The clay pot is tucked into ashes of a fire and left to cook for a long time. A curious particularity of this dish is that its preparation is generally given to men.
A Marrakech Cooking Class Led by a Dada Chef.
Shop the souks with a dada chef (traditional Moroccan cook), then work and cook alongside the Dades to prepare a delicious, classic Moroccan meal.
While touring the median with your dada chef you will discover some of these local specialities:
- Amlou – A delicious mixture of argan oil, honey, and almond paste.
- Barbouche – Snails served in a lightly spiced earthy broth; these snails taste more like mushrooms than you would expect.
- Crazy Bread – One of the many names for fluffy pitta-esque sandwiches stuffed hard boiled eggs, mashed potato, and spicy sauce. Also look out for sandwiches featuring aubergine (eggplant) or sardine.
- Besarra – Garlicky fava bean soup.
- B’stilla – The classic Moroccan dish is traditionally made with pigeon or chicken meat encased in thin flaky pastry and sweet spices.
A Moroccan Cooking Lesson (Teaser!)
Like most other cuisines, Moroccan cooking uses common culinary methods such as stewing meats and vegetables in thick broths or sauces, boiling, steaming, grilling, baking, roasting, and cooking between two fires.
The cooking of the old Moroccan imperial cities follows a classification which defines the guidelines for preparing everyday dishes and some cooked salads. Traditional recipes calling for a broth or sauce are usually divided into one of several distinct Moroccan cooking styles. This classification helps keep traditional recipes consistent throughout time and has eased the process of transmission from one generation to another.
Spicing or Seasoning a Moroccan Dish
Each classification of Moroccan dishes relies on a set of spices to build a unique flavor profile and give a specific hue to the dish. Consider those spices as a code that will help you cook Moroccan dishes in a smart way. If you know a particular cooking style’s code, you will not need to look up a recipe in order to execute it; you’ll be able to rely on the main guidelines.
Sauces in Moroccan Cooking
The sauce defines whether or not the dish has been prepared by a good cook. The criteria of a good sauce are not many—it comes down to the texture, the hue, and finally the flavor.
Sauces in Moroccan cooking are usually the result of a slow-cooking method, such as simmering in
a tagine or stewing in a conventional pot. Depending on the recipe and the cooking vessel, the sauce can vary in texture. In most cases, however, it is a reduced sauce which is most highly sought…..