Morocco: A Culinary Crossroad

A tasty blend of North African, Arabic, Spanish, and French influences, Moroccan food satisfies a craving for the exotic.

Morocco’s long history is reflected in its food. The country is situated on the North African shores of the Mediterranean and incorporates the rugged Atlas Mountains. Nomadic North African Berbers created the basis of the country’s lush and varied cuisine. But a raft of foreign influences flavors Moroccan cuisine, as well.

A centuries-old penchant for Persian sweet-and-sour cooking styles still persists, and ingredients like saffron, nuts, pickled lemons, and pomegranates are staples of the Moroccan larder. These Arabic foods and Spanish culinary hallmarks, such as olives, olive oils, herbs, peppers, and salt, were introduced to Moroccan cooks in the 15th century, when the Spanish Inquisition drove Spanish Muslims and Jews to Morocco.

The French colonized North Africa from the late 1800s through 1956; their legacy is seen in the trendy restaurants of the country’s cities, such as Fez and Marrakesh. Urban chefs embrace a “Nouvelle Marocaine” style in which French techniques and flavors meld with native recipes.

One constant in Moroccan food is delicious vegetarian fare. Our recipes use winter produce, nuts, chickpeas, lentils, and couscous to deliver authentic tastes with ingredients you’ll find in any large supermarket.

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