SOURCE: MOROCCO WORLD NEWS
BY: MICHAEL SAUERS
Rabat – Although Morocco is known for dishes such as tagine and couscous, the kingdom has a growing scene of street food that can keep up with the largest of appetites. Almost every region is notorious for a street delicacy. Here are five of Morocco’s most unique street foods.
Morocco’s rendition of fried potato patties, known as maakouda, is best served by itself or inside a sandwich. Most famous in Morocco’s former capital of Fez, the fried treat is made of simple ingredients: potato, flour, eggs, and herbs.
After achieving a mashed potato consistency, the potato patties are fried which results in a crispy, golden crust on the outside while the inside remains hot and mushy.
One of the best spots for a delicious Maakouda sandwich is in the new city of Meknes. M3i9date Ba Mbarek is known for extremely cheap sandwiches with single pieces of maakouda starting at just MAD 2. Ba Mbarek’s completely loaded sandwich comes with two fried eggs, three maakoudas, cheese, bologna, green olives, and Morocco’s harissa hot sauce.
You can find maakouda in almost any city and it is a must-try while exploring the street food scene in Morocco.
It isn’t right to visit Morocco without having a chance to taste some of its fresh fish caught in a wide space of its natural resources. So if you ever visit the country, you need to have a bite of Morocco’s stuffed fried sardines. The stuffed sardines are one of the most popular street foods in the country.
The stuffed sardines come in different guises depending on the recipes and can be served both cold or hot. You could try them with Morocco’s tomato and onion salad or simply stuff your sardines in a half small bread and enjoy it with a drink – or nothing in accompaniment. With a strong garlic and ginger flavor, stuffed sardines can definitely make it to your list if they are done right.
Most popular in Morocco’s northern region, bocadillos made their way from Spain and onto the street corners of Morocco. The sandwich is somewhere between a French baguette and a Vietnamese Banh Mi.
Street vendors serve the bocadillo with very few ingredients: meat, vegetables, and sauce. The most common bocadillo is made with grilled chicken, pickled vegetables, and a spicy mayo sauce. Pickled vegetables like green olives and carrots add a certain sharpness that makes you crave more.
In the north, many vendors also offer bocadillos with freshly-caught fish such as sardines or other white fish.
In line with most Moroccan street food, the sandwiches are extremely affordable, at around MAD 20-25 per sandwich.
Moroccan cuisine offers a highly unique flavor pallet, often mixing contrasting flavors such as salty and sweet.
Bastilla is no different as the traditional options are the sweet and savory chicken bastilla or the salty and sour fish bastilla. For those wishing to enjoy a sweet treat for around MAD 10, a quick hike around any medina in Morocco will lead you to a bastilla stand serving chicken bastilla, filled with a crumbly mixture of chicken, nuts, and a wide assortment of spices.
The concoction is wrapped in phyllo dough and topped with a hatched-pattern of powdered sugar and cinnamon. The flavor profile is extremely rich and one small, hamburger-sized sweet bastilla will leave you full for an entire day.
The fish bastilla is also served as a phyllo treat. However, the inside is a combination of salty, savory, and sour. Small pieces of fish, most often sardines, are mixed with chinese vermicelli noodles, harissa, and other spices to make one filling street treat.
Tayb wa Hari
Known as Morocco’s thick, soft street popcorn made of chickpeas, tayb wa hari translates to “cooked and soft.” Most vendors that serve a bowl of this Moroccan street delicacy spend the day cooking down the chickpeas in a pot, ensuring they reach the right consistency and temperature.
When ready to be consumed, the chickpeas are loaded into a bowl and topped with cumin and paprika. Those that want an especially spicy dish may add more paprika to make the dish a savory delight.
For as little as nearly MAD 3 per bowl, the treat is not only fun to eat, but very affordable. Food carts with a large pot in the center are a tell-tale sign that the vendor is serving bowls of tayb wa hari. No matter where you are in Morocco, this street food is a must-try, regardless of whether the weather is hot or cold.
Moroccan street food is almost always extremely filling and highly satisfying, regardless of food preference. Next time you visit Morocco, you must search for these five delicious street food items that make Morocco a top street food destination for gastro-tourists.
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