Culinary Adventures in Morocco

Disclaimer: This is an old post from my old blog, it was written in November 2014. 

As I’m about to edit this post, I’m feeling all nostalgic and funny.

Nostalgic because I miss those days in Marrakesh and I want to go back to Morocco. I want to tour the country, visit Fez, wander essaouira and photograph Chefchaouen.

Funny because I can see how far I’ve come with my writing and photography skills. You can tell that I wasn’t a brilliant photographer back in 2014. I can confirm that I’m much better now 🙂

Morocco is an incredibly beautiful country and the people there are so friendly. Being from its neighbouring Tunisia, I felt just at home there.

One of the many reasons that made me fall in love with Morocco is Food.

Tea

For the tea lover that I am, being in Morocco was heaven. Just close your eyes and try to imagine the glasses filled with mint waiting to meet the green tea, I bet you can smell the freshness of that mint!

The tea there, like in the rest of the North African countries,  is part of the culture. It’s sweet and it’s everywhere. With every meal, with every conversation.

Even if it hits you as very sweet in the beginning, I’d highly recommend that you embrace its sweetness and indulge yourself in this sweet pleasure while you are there.

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Tagine

Another famous not-to-miss dish in Morocco is Tagine.  Make sure you try one or two during your visit.

Tagine is a historically Berber dish from North Africa that is named after the type of earthenware pot in which it is cooked.

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This stew of meat or fish, vegetables, spices and mixed sometimes with lemon, apricots or olives etc. is definitely a Moroccan pride. It is everywhere, in every restaurant and every food stall. The conical topped dish in which it is cooked makes it even more special.

I’ve had few Tagines in my life and I like cooking them but the most special one (showed in the picture below) is a chicken and olives Tagine that I had on the side of a river before our hike in the Atlas mountains 🙂

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Food stalls in Marrakesh

When in Marrakech, one must try the food from the many stalls in Jemaa El Fna. It is like a festival every night, a festival of food-stalls competing to attract tourists. Some of them would even make up a whole show of singing and clapping just to win you over another stall.

Although they may be very insisting sometimes , the whole experience is amazing. And the way it works, you end up sitting in this long table next to strangers and you end up having conversations with visitors from all over the world!

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Harira

Harira is a traditional soup in both Morocco and Algeria. It’s so yummy!

 

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Pastilla

One last dish I would like to finish this post with, is the Pastilla. Also known as Bestila, this Andalus chicken pie will surprise you. Who would imagine eating chicken inside filo pastry  with sugar and cinnamon? LOL

This combination of sweet and savory flavours is surprisingly delicious.

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Food is a great deal in Moroccan culture, nothing like a tour in Jemaa El Fna at night to notice that.

It is delicious,  full of flavours and definitely one my favourite.

 

Culinary Adventures In Georgia

If I have one advice to give you prior to your trip to Georgia (the country not the state ) that would be : EAT ALL THINGS PURI.

Puri პური is Georgian bread and there are few varieties of it for you to try.

The first one I tried was the ADJARULI KHACHAPURI which is a cheese-filled bread topped with a raw egg and some butter (Don’t look at me like this, I did not invent it). You need to mix the egg and butter with the cheese to finish cooking it and then use the crust to eat the mixture.

As much as enjoyed that, I couldn’t finish it. It was a bit too much for me.

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I also tried KHACHAPURI few times which is the above bread minus the egg, it’s a cheese-filled soft bread.

Apparently Georgians prefer it to pizza and I kinda agree.

BTW, the cheese used to make all this heavenly yummy puri is called sulguni.

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As if this wasn’t enough bread, they also have puri filled with beans, it is called Lobiani. Lobiani comes from the Georgian word Lobio which mean beans. Funny enough, in my native dialect, that is Tunisian, we call beans “Lobia”. Not sure how we got almost the exact same word  as the Georgian one, maybe the Ottomans introduced it to both countries?

Talking about beans, Lobio is also another tasty dish to try while in Georgia. You may be used to have beans part of your breakfast but in Georgia, it’s served as a savoury main meal and it’s very tasty.

Another thing to definitely try is Khinkali. Khinkali is Georgian dumpling that comes with a variety of fillings. You can have the classic mince meat filled Khinkali or cheese, potatoes or mushroom ones.

My absolute favourite dish, and this is because I didn’t expect it to be that good, was Badrijani Nigvzit – ბადრიჯანი ნიგვზით (Eggplant Walnut Rolls) which is fried eggplant forming a roll pocket and filled with a delicious creamy filling made of walnuts, garlic and spices.

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Not sure if having this dish on top of a hill looking at the beautiful city of Signagi and the caucasus mountains made it more delicious than how it really is ( sorry couldn’t stop myself from bragging).

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Overall, the Georgian cuisine is really yummy. Even though I was eating in touristic areas, the food was authentic and delicious.