Morocco for Food Lovers

morocco foodWhile Morocco is justifiably famous for breathtaking scenery, Islamic architecture and a rich history of arts and crafts, the country truly stands out as a paradise for foodies. Diverse peoples, including Berbers, Arabs, Sephardic Jews and Muslims from Andalusia, and Spanish and French colonizers, brought their own culinary traditions and ingredients to the kitchen. This is combined with the marvelous variety of foodstuffs produced in the country´s different regions. The quality of beef and lamb in Morocco is outstanding. Fish is popular, especially in port cities, and there is an astonishing array of fruits and vegetables.

Of course, no tour to Morocco arranged by an in-country operator would be complete without sampling couscous, tiny grains of semolina pasta served with stewed carrots, zucchini and other vegetables, with or without meat. Rabat is especially famous for its couscous aux sept légumes (couscous with seven vegetables), in which an enormous mound of couscous is beautifully and carefully adorned with vegetables and served with a small bowl of broth on the side. Another famous variant of the dish is couscous tfaya, topped with caramelized onions, raisins and chickpeas. Couscous was traditionally eaten on Fridays after the midday prayer, but is now often enjoyed by extended families over the weekend. (more…)

A Day in Melilla, Spain

coins in basketMelilla is a Spanish enclave located on Morocco’s eastern Mediterranean coast. About halfway between the Moroccan cities of Al-Hoceima and Oujda, Melilla is less visited by tourists than its sister city, Ceuta, the other Spanish enclave remaining in North Africa. The city has been under Spanish control since 1496, although it has been an important port city in the Mediterranean since Phoenician times. Now many of this outpost’s inhabitants are Spanish military troops.

If you plan on spending the day in Melilla, start by exploring the old city’s medieval fortifications and enjoying the views of the Mediterranean from its ramparts. Dial in with your cell phone to get an audio walking tour of the old city; you can get the numbers for each city section by calling the Tourist Information Office at 952-67-54-44 or visiting the information kiosk in Plaza de España before you start your tour.  (more…)