It’s a world of bustling souks and bubbling tagines, sun-drenched cities and a wind-whipped coast.
And this vibrant, varied country has a cuisine to match — a melange of Berber, Arabic and French flavours that combine to create unique soups, casseroles, salads and stickily sweet desserts.
Couscous is the other integral part of Moroccan cooking.
Traditionally, it’s steamed over a stew, allowing the grains to soak up the flavour, and often served with tajine – a sweet casserole made with lamb or chicken.
“We stop off at different food stalls and try dishes such as harira and chebakia and honey-drenched pastries, flavoured with rose-water, taking in the square’s live entertainment in-between.” In Fez there are food tours that explore the souk by day, or by night when the city’s street-food vendors come out to sell spicy sardines, potato cakes and even stuffed camel spleen.With 70 flights a week from the UK, there are many ways to discover the country: a short city break, a week on the coast in Essaouira or Agadir, or an overland adventure visiting the Sahara desert and the unique fort towns of the south.Foodie travellers can take part in cookery courses, join culinary-themed guided walks and barter for fresh fish served straight from the sea.Saffron harvested from fields in the south of the country gives colour and depth to dishes, while coriander, parsley and mint lend a freshness to salads and fish.Of course, fresh mint is also found in the ubiquitous mint tea, as much a ritual of daily life as it is a thirst-quenching beverage.
Fez is the place to try b’stilla, a flaky pastry pie filled with pigeon, eggs and almonds, and topped with cinnamon and icing sugar.