Today’s dinner was definitely the best part of the day and the trip so far. Our tour group arranged to have a family host us for a home-cooked dinner. The food was amazing.
We started with a vegetable soup. In Morocco, they eat sweets with their savory soup. Unusual, but both the soup and the sweets were delicious. There was an almond, honey, and sesame cookie and a honey baklava-like sweet. I could have easily filled up on soup, but I wanted to save room for the rest of dinner.
Then we had three different types of pastillas, which are Moroccan meat pies. The square pastillas were ground beef. The circular ones were fish. The circular one with the star was chicken. The chicken one was very unusual because although the filling is savory, the exterior is covered with powder sugar and cinnamon, so you get a mix of sweet and savory. I would have thought that sugar and chicken would have tasted disgusting, but it’s actually very good! We also had a vegetable tajine, which refers to a style of cooking and the conical clay pot used to cook. Meat and vegetables are placed into the pot and covered with a cone-shaped cover and baked in a hot oven (although it doesn’t have to be, can be cooked on a stove top). The steam from the food is trapped and condenses back down to create an aromatic stew. Everything was really good.
For dessert, we had an assortment of lovely fresh fruit. The oranges were especially sweet with all the winter rains. I really like ending dinner with fresh fruit because that’s how I grew up. There’s no such thing as dessert in Korean cuisine. We always eat fruit afterward.
As a nod to American culture, the family provided more of the delicious Moroccan sweets that we had at the beginning of the meal to end our meal and we washed this all down with the ubiquitous mint tea.
It was an amazing meal and I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to see a Moroccan home and eat a real home-cooked meal.