The cuisine of Morocco is rated among the best in the world. There are few places where food is more carefully and artistically prepared, more delightfully served, and more enjoyed.
Tea serving has been perfected to high entertainment. It is served from a great height in order to create a foamy top, and tea servers pride themselves on their athletic prowess in this regard.
Cooking in Morocco falls into two specific categories. The first, intended for important guests, is the work of skilled chefs. No women are present. The men squat on mattresses or pillows around low, beautifully inlaid tables. A silver ewer of perfumed water is taken around and poured over three fingers of the right hand of each guest. One course after another is served. Again the silver ewer filled with warm water is presented to clean the mouth, lips, and hands.
In the second category of cooking are the wonderful dishes prepared with loving care by the women of the house. Here, where time does not seem to count, they spends hours with their glazed cooking dishes. The scents of coriander, cumin, saffron, marjoram, and onion mingle with the olive oil and the sweetness of sandalwood, mint, and roses.
A hostess in Morocco might take a week to prepare a suitable dinner for her honored guests. The meal consists of numerous courses. It would take a full day just to make Bstilla- a crisp pastry, rolled as thin as tissue paper, filled with chicken, fish, nuts and a range of other ingredients.
The dinner starts with Bstilla, followed by the typical brochette or kebab flavored with bits of beef or lamb. Next comes the Tajine, chicken or meat in a spicy stew which has been simmered for many hours. It is served with a flat bread called Khubz.
A Batinjaan, eggplant salad or chopped tomato salad, is served as a separate course. Next, comes Couscous, the wonderful Moroccan national dish made of semolina. The dinner is completed with slices or wedges of peeled melon, pastries made with honey and almond like the Middle Eastern Baklava, and finally a small glass of mint tea.
I am currently experiencing Moroccan food withdrawal symptoms. My only hope rests in a trip to Karoun restaurant in Newton, where I can enjoy some shish kebab and couscous accompanied by middle eastern rhythms provided by the band.