Bread is an important part of every meal, and is so valued that if it falls on the ground, you are to pick it up and kiss it.

 

 

Morocco

 

 

 

 

 

Outside the cities, Moroccans generally do not have clocks, and so meals occur around the five calls to prayer each day.  Breakfast is eaten early in the day, followed by a second breakfast mid-morning.  Lunch is served in the mid-day, and in the late afternoon time is taken for tea and bread.  Dinner occurs late in the evening.

 

The Berber tribes, the original inhabitants of the country, developed dishes based on local ingredients such as lamb or chicken, vegetables, oranges, lemons, almonds, dates and figs.  Cooked together as a stew, these were known as tajines, still a popular dish.  Diners will share a tajine from a single pot, scooping up the food with bread rather than using utensils.  Couscous is another Berber dish, generally topped with meat and vegetables.  When the Arabs conquered the country in the 7thcentury, they brought new ingredients to the cuisine, introducing foods made from gains and nuts, and new spices such as turmeric, cumin and cinnamon.  In the 15thcentury, the Moors arrived, driven out of Spain, bringing with them techniques for preserving fruit.  The 16thcentury brought the arrival of the Ottomans, who introduced kebabs to the country.  Today the cuisine is an amalgamation of foods from over the centuries.

 

Bread is an important part of every meal, and is so valued that if it falls on the ground, you are to pick it up and kiss it.  As very few households have their own ovens, most neighbourhoods have community ovens where people take their bread dough to be baked.  Moroccan mint tea is considered the national symbol of hospitality.  When a visitor arrives, he or she is offered tea immediately.  When the tea is poured, the teapot is held high above the glasses in order to create a little foam in each glass.

 





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