If you ever go to Morocco, here are 10 tips to follow when you dine out:
Ditch the Silverware: In Morocco, you’ll find that a lot of restaurants serve their food family style. This means that meals are eaten communally from a large dish. You can substitute bread as silverware to pick up your food. You’ll find in rural areas in Moroccan homes that people use their hands to eat their food.
Eat the food closest to you: Although it’s appropriate to eat with your hand in Morocco, it’s not appropriate to reach over to someone else’s section. If you order tagine or couscous, it will be prepared in a way that each person gets a little bit of each. You might even see a waitress use her hands to hand you meat or vegetables. This is a way to show you that they want you to have the best pieces.
Use your right hand: In Morocco, eating is done with your right hand because using your left is considered unclean. Don’t worry, if you’re left handed it is understandable because people will want you to feel comfortable.
Allergies in Morocco? It’s uncommon for people in Morocco to have allergies, so not eating something due to allergies is unknown. People usually just eat food that they can afford, and don’t think of not eating something as a choice. It is more widely known in Morocco now that people can have allergies to things like shellfish and nuts. However, gluten free diets are unknown. If you have allergies, try to find things that don’t contain what you’re allergic to.
Bread, bread, bread! Moroccans love bread. It’s eaten as snacks, with lunch, dinner, breakfast and used as a utensil. You’ll have lots of varieties to choose from, so while you’re in Morocco forget about your low-carb diet, and enjoy some bread!
You’ll find the best food in a Moroccan household: If you know anybody who is a local Moroccan, stop by their house to eat because you’ll taste some of the best Moroccan food there. Unfortunately, you won’t find the best Moroccan food in a restaurant - aside from Kous Kous ;) If you don’t know anyone personally in Morocco, then try getting an invite to a riad. The women who work in riads cook the same type of food that is cooked in a Moroccan home.
Try some street food: Skip going to a restaurant and try some street food. Don’t be afraid to try the street food because it’s really good. Try some grilled meats, Sfinge and Kringo (doughnuts), juices or Harira or B’ssara (soups).
Have cash ready: Always have cash ready because not every restaurant will accept a credit card. Morocco is still a mostly cash society. Some restaurants might accept a credit card, but just to be safe bring some cash with you too. If you would like to leave a tip, use your best judgement based on the service and what type of restaurant you’re in.
Alcohol is expensive: It is legal for alcohol to be served to foreigners in Morocco. Alcohol in Morocco is quite expensive. More expensive than alcohol served in North America and Europe. You’ll find beer and wine in restaurants in large cities, but in smaller cities you’ll really have to hunt down some alcohol.
- Don’t worry about food safety in Morocco: Take the same precautions before eating food in America or the country you live in. If you’re feeling under the weather there are many pharmacies in Morocco with herbal medication approaches, and there are pharmacies with western medical approaches. Don’t worry and enjoy the food in Morocco!
Enjoy dining out in Morocco! B'ssaha!