Please welcome guest blogger, Nisrine, from dinnersanddreams.net
Some of the greatest memories of my native Morocco come back in the form of food. Hearty salads, fragrant couscous, succulent tagines, sizzling kebabs, and honey-glazed desserts are tied to almost every special—and less special—occasion. In a culture known for its hospitality, where people equate food with love, generosity, joy, and every other noble feeling, food takes heroic proportions and fabulous presentations.
For lack of Moroccan restaurants in most US towns, many Americans are not familiar with Moroccan cuisine, often associating it with its better known Mediterranean counterparts such as Greek and Turkish cuisines. Even though the similarities are present and noticeable, and its reputation of using some of the same healthy ingredients is not a rumor, Moroccan cuisine has its particularities. The ingredients might be similar, but the way they’re combined and the cooking methods make Moroccan cuisine one that’s unique and worth exploring.
Couscous is one of the most familiar Moroccan specialties, appreciated for its ease of preparation and versatility. It can be dressed up elegantly with fruits, nuts and spices, or presented lightly seasoned for everyday dinners.
Tagine comes second in popularity and refers to any kind of chicken, beef or lamb stew slow-cooked in a tagine, a round clay pot with a dome-shaped lid that yields delicious earthy flavors. Tagines are often seasoned with saffron, cumin, harissa and preserved lemons.
Brewats and b’stilla are dainty creations made with b’stilla or phyllo dough in the shape of triangles, cigars or pies filled with spiced kefta, saffron chicken, or lemony seafood. They are also made for dessert filled with nuts and drizzled with honey.
Other dishes which might be less known but are just as impressive include warm vegetable salads, legume soups, nut cookies, and fish with shermoula sauce. They are delicacies waiting to be discovered.
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