The Supermarket Chronicles XI: Discovering the Tastes of Morocco

As you know, the Supermarket Chronicles showcase the restaurant or grocery store treasures of our travels, ranging from the unappetizing to the bizarre.  I jot down a brief description, throw in a picture or two, you read it in horror, and I sit back and laugh like Bram Stoker’s Renfield.  It’s really a great relationship.  This episode of the chronicles, however, is going to take a 180° turn, perhaps just this once.

That’s because we just returned from Marrakech, Morocco, and my perspective on dining has done a 180° turn.

Lunch of chicken tagine and Moroccan bread

Lunch of chicken tagine and Moroccan bread

Tagines simmering at a traditional restaurant

Tagines simmering at a traditional restaurant

I don’t cook much, even less now that we’re living abroad, but I was raised to be at the least food savvy, so you can imagine my shame when I knew next to nothing about Moroccan cuisine.  Most meals are centered around the tagine, a large terracotta dish with a cone-shaped lid that originates from the indigenous Berber people of Morocco.  You load the dish with meat, veggies and spices, put it under a low heat, replace the cover, and let the whole thing stew.  The lid traps the evaporating water so precious to desert dwellers, while the terracotta gives a slight earthiness to the dish.  Like a slow cooker, the process makes the vegetables tender, the meat pull apart with a fork and the flavors blend for unbelievable results.

Each sunset was enjoyed with a bottle of luscious Moroccan wine, peanuts, and the only olives I've ever enjoyed, so fresh some still had stems.

Each sunset was enjoyed with a bottle of sumptuous Moroccan wine, peanuts, and the only olives I’ve ever liked, so fresh some still had stems.  Photobombed by Aine.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Breakfast was a refreshing assortment of traditional Moroccan breads, yogurt, fresh fruit and cheeses.  We were so impressed by our “hotel’s” restaurant (not really a hotel- I’ll explain in the next post), we never felt the need to venture out for dinner.  Each evening we put the kids to bed and relaxed for a delicious three course meal; those meals that, despite being full, you keep eating anyway because the taste is irresistible.  As a former French colony, France’s expertise in the kitchen combines with Moroccan exotic and fresh ingredients, resulting in sheer brilliance.  There was only one set menu per night, often a dish that I would never have chosen regularly, but each evening was more fantastic than the last.  Let me show you some examples:

Stay tuned, faithful readers, because there’s a post coming soon about our Moroccan adventures.  It’s just emotionally difficult to type now that I’m home scrounging my kids’ uneaten chicken nuggets and trying to exercise off the five pounds I gained on vacation while dreaming of my next tagine.

Morocco

14 thoughts on “The Supermarket Chronicles XI: Discovering the Tastes of Morocco

  1. Wow John! That looks absolutely amazing! (Not gonna lie..way better than some of the Jakarta findings…) Even sitting here at 6:45 am at my desk, I’m hungry! Glad you had a great vacation. Stay safe! Jackie Culver – Tolland High

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    • Hi!
      The food was amazing. I can’t tell you how many times Sarah and I said to each other “I can’t believe we’re going to eat again…” Morocco was one of my favorite destinations so far. Hopefully I’ll get the next post out soon, and get back there soon. 🙂

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  2. Excellent!! I do hope you purchased a cookbook!!?? I will have to look to see if I have some recipes in my international cookbook… Then, of course, I will have to get a tangine…. I love the combinations of flavors they put together… What did the kids eat???
    Mom

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    • No cookbook 😦 which stinks because we brought home a tangine (that was fun on the plane). I looked online, though, and there were some tagine recipes in English.
      When we were at the hotel, the wonderful people at the restaurant brought the kids yogurt, breads, cheeses and fruit. And we never travel anywhere without bread and peanut butter.

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  3. I enjoyed the posting. I personally have not tried any tajine (tagine) recipes but I do have a cookbook that includes Algerian tajine recipes. It is called Mediterranean Paleo Cooking by Caitlin Week, Nabil Boumrar, and Diane Sanfilippo. Hope all is well with you guys. Take care.

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    • Thanks, Nicole-
      That makes sense- the tangines we had were all paleo (except for the couscous and bread, I suppose). I’ll bet those recipes can easily be used in the tangine- thanks!
      Great to hear from you!

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  4. The Tangine is fantastic for cooking great meals. I have enjoyed it many times in France and at Moroccan restaurants in the US. You made my mouth water. I’m a little jelly!

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  5. One of the two destinations in the world I have been dying to visit. Have created Moroccan recipes (online recipes) and even preserved lemon until I found out I could actually use lemon juice! Thanks for the photos. Enjoy.

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    • So preserved lemon is a real thing! I was watching tagine recipes on youtube and a couple called for preserved lemon. It looked like the whole lemon was preserved- bizarre, but you can tell lemon is a main ingredient in tagine cooking.
      Working on the Moroccan post now- we will definitely go back. Absolutely fantastic- I hope you get there soon- I understand there’s a direct flight to Marrakech from Boston if you can get there 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Morocco | Domestic Departure

  7. I HAVE to go there! Not great at cooking, but very good at eating. John if you ever give up teaching, you have a career as a food photographer. Deborah

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    • Just saw this comment, Deborah. The pictures came out dark because of the lighting and using my cell phone as my primary camera. I’ll have to see if my GoPro would take better shots in that lighting.
      Thanks for reading!!

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  8. Pingback: Captivated by Marrakech | Domestic Departure

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