Hello, if you are new here, my name is Yasmine. I am a West African foodie with international taste buds. Thanks to my passion for food blogging and my international tourism degree, I specialize in food tourism with a focus on African Gastronomy.
What does it mean ? Simply put, my mission is to shift the African narrative through food and I am also all about tasting local cuisines when I travel. It’s for me one of the best ways, if not THE best, to learn more about a destination, connect with the locals and immerse myself into the culture.
Taste of Marrakech with Moroccan Food Adventures
While in Marrakech for a few days, we decided to book a street food tour with Moroccan Food Adventures. Co-founded by Maroc Mama and her husband, it’s a food tour company offering the very best culinary delicacies of Marrakech and Essaouira.
I had heard of Amanda of Maroc Mama while I was living in the UK thanks to my good friends Eulanda & Omo. You know the saying…a friend of my friends is my friend. Okay, I may have made that up 😉 All that to say that there was no way I was going to come all the way to Marrakech and not support her business.
This 3 hours food tour was by far the highlight of our stay in Marrakech. Honestly, after only 2 days in Morocco, I wanted more than just tagines and couscous. It consisted of 8 foodie stops and it allowed us to discover and taste meals that I wouldn’t otherwise have if it wasn’t for this experience.
Let’s follow the guide shall we...for a Taste of Marrakech !
In this instance, it was Abdul and he was THE best. He shared lots of insights about the local cuisine but also the culture and the customs. He answered all of our numerous questions with patience and humor sometimes.
1st stop : Tangia and mechoui in the mechoui alley
After meeting the tour guide and the group in front of the post office in Jemaa El-Fna, we walked towards our first stop in the mechoui alley. Can I admit that this was also my favorite spot ? It was love at first bite !
Tangia is a slow-cooked dish made with either lamb or beef and traditionally prepared in a clay pot. Generally made by men, there are two things that make a tangia special. The first one: the spices and aromatics of this dish : saffron, preserved lemons and butter, cumin, olive oil and garlic.
The second thing is WHERE it’s cooked. Interestingly enough, Tangia are cooked in the furnaces (deep underground) that heat for the water for the hammans and therefore never cooked in the restaurant or little shop itself. The result simply burst with flavors !
Mechoui, however, is not only cooked right on the spot but literally right under your feet. If you are ever in the mechoui alley, nicely ask to see the earthen, underground oven sometimes right at the entrance of the shops.
Unlike the tangia, spices are not incorporated during the cooking process of mechoui but rather at the end. The meat is indeed simply dished up with bread and a mix of salt and cumin. The crisp texture of the skin along with the tenderness of the meat is the perfect combo to start off on great notes.
2nd stop : Let's taste some olives shall we ?
I must admit right off the bat that I am not a big fan of olives ! Surprisingly, I found myself appreciating olives in Morocco and especially during the tour. Honestly, what’s not to like ?
The eye-catching stalls immediately attract locals and tourists with the different colors of olives ranging from spicy to salty. Whether they are green, black or even pink, each kind of olives truly make your tastebuds happy.
3rd stop : Information session on Moroccan’s spices and argan oil
Although this wasn’t a foodie spot and I am not sure if it’s part of every tour, I did enjoy this informative session on Moroccan’s spices and argan oil. We even went back the following day to purchase some culinary argan oil to bring back to Côte d’Ivoire.
4th stop : Harira
While we were buzzing with the newly acquired knowledge from the previous session, we made a quick but all the more delicious stop to have some harira.
A traditional Moroccan soup, harira is made with tomato, lentils, chickpeas and fresh herbs among other ingredients. I didn’t remember them all, I was too busy savoring this warm and comforting meal.
Although this soup is sold and eaten all year round for breakfast, appetizer or sometimes as the main dish, I was told it is more common to have it during Ramadan.
5th stop : Kefta sardines or sardines meatball sandwiches
“Somebody feed Phil” is one of my favorite travel food shows on Netflix and I must admit that I was very surprised to learn that sardine is one of the most popular fish in Morocco.
Also called hout quari, these sardines kefta sandwiches are a must-taste. The fish goes through a food processor first, and the mixture paste is then shaped into fish balls, which are grilled or fried in a pan before being put in the sandwich and topped with toppings such as onions, tomato sauce, harissa, green olives, and smen (fermented butter).
6th stop : Svenj (donuts)
Svenj or Sfenj is a fritter-like Moroccan doughnut made from a sticky, unsweetened leavened dough. Once it has risen, handfuls of dough are shaped into rings and deep-fried until golden and crispy with a chewy, fluffy interior. You can dust with sugar, if you like, or simply eat as is. Undoubtedly, another one of my favorites on this food tour.
Source : The spruce eats
7th stop : Cucumber soup
I can’t remember the name of this cold soup but I still have the memories of how fresh and refreshing it was. This is another “meal”, I am 300% sure I wouldn’t have tried if it wasn’t for this Marrakech food tour well-thought itinerary.
The soups were blended right when we arrived and it was a nice occasion to sit down again, rest a little and get to know our group.
8th stop : Visit of a communal bakery
Before embarking on this culinary experience with Moroccan Food Adventures, I remember seeing this particular type of bread pretty much everywhere around the Medina.
Called Khobz, this Moroccan flatbread in round shapes is made with white or wholewheat flour with a thick crust. It is served at every meal and oftentimes used as a utensil to scoop dishes like salads, tagines, tangia or other kinds of Moroccan meals. During our tour, we learned that a lot of families (because they don’t have these particular types of oven in their home) bring the dough to the “communal bakeries" hence the name.
9th stop: Babbouche or snail soup
Slowly cooked over low heat, this snail soup requires more than a dozen spices which give a nice flavor to the snails but also to the broth itself. Although this was my least favorite spot, I was willing to give it a shot and taste this local delicacy much appreciated by locals.
10th stop : Vegan couscous
What would be a Moroccan food tour without couscous you may ask ? I had never tried a vegan couscous prior to this and I was more than happy to do so. Piled with vegetables and caramelized onions, this authentic meal was made one of the most popular Marrakchi mama of that part of the Medina. Although we were already pretty stuffed from our tour, we simply couldn’t resist this beautiful meal set in front of us.
11th stop: Traditional pastries
Ending on a sweet note ? Yes ! Please and thank you !
I can’t recall the various names of the pastries we had for dessert. All I can remember is that they were very sweet made with almonds and honey and had some interesting flavor combinations
To accompany our desserts, we had two small smoothies, one of them being mixed with avocado.
This evening street food tour with Moroccan Food Adventures was a real feast for the senses and I can’t recommend it enough.
It costs 70 usd per person (booked directly on their platform), lasts 3.5 hours and requires a booking for minimum 2 people.
Find more information HERE.