Although some of us may be familiar with classic Moroccan dishes such as Tangine, we're probably less acquainted with the snacks and finger foods that the people of this African nation enjoy themselves or offer to their guests before or in between meals. They are probably not the sort of snack you might pick up at your local convenience store.
Some are simple, and some require a little effort to prepare, yet all are delicious. We think you'll like them, too! In fact, you may enjoy them so much that you decide it's time to add a little Moroccan flavor—literally and figuratively—to your next get together by introducing a few of these classic Moroccan snacks and finger foods.
Putting out a tray of olives at a cocktail party may not seem like a particularly novel idea. What if you skip the small green pimento-stuffed variety that you pick up at your local supermarket in favor of some real Moroccan olives? What's the difference, you ask? Moroccan olives are dry-cured, which enhances and concentrates their flavor, in the same way, aging a piece of good cheddar cheese enhances and improves its taste.
These are crunchy little tidbits that can take the form of a spicy cracker or a sweeter, biscotti-like cookie. Why not put out a platter of these instead of breadsticks or tortilla chips?
Mhncha "Snake" Cookies
These treats resemble a coiled-up snake. The name "mhncha" is the Moroccan word for snake. They're not overly sweet, and one of their ingredients is fragrant orange blossom water. They're typically huge, but there are recipes online that show you how to make smaller versions that are easier for guests to help themselves too. The dough—known as warka—requires a bit of expertise to make, but store-bought phyllo dough makes for an acceptable substitute. The remaining ingredients, which include almond flour, orange blossom water, butter, powdered sugar, and cinnamon, comprise a paste that is spread on the dough, which is then rolled, cut and shaped into the distinctive mhncha shape!
If you're looking for a healthy snack, Haroset may end up on your list of favorite "take-along"—whether you're going on a hike or just wanting to bring something unique when visiting a friend. Haroset is made from a paste of dried fruits, almonds, and honey, and rolled into convenient little ball-shaped morsels. They delicious and packed with healthy goodness!
Another healthy snack option is spiced oranges. These are also incredibly simple to prepare. Just slice a peeled navel orange into rounds, drizzle with a teaspoon of orange blossom water, sprinkle with a little cinnamon and powdered sugar, and garnish with chopped walnuts and mint leaves.
These are Morocco's version of a potato pancake. They can be served as a side dish with a meal, or eaten as a finger food/snack. They're simple to make with grated potatoes mixed with cumin, garlic, cilantro, eggs, and flour and then fried to crispy perfection. They're delicious dipped in (or topped with) plain yogurt.
Even though Edam cheese is a Dutch import, it's a favorite among Moroccans who refer to it as red cheese because of its red waxy coating. It can be cubed or sliced and served as finger food along with other favorites such as olives or Medjool dates.
Dunk some toasted pita chips into Kahrmus, a tangy dip made with pureed eggplant, tomato, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and favorite Moroccan herbs and spices like cumin, cilantro, and paprika.
There are countless other delicious Moroccan snacks and finger food. Online recipes abound. Try some out at your next party or bring some as a gift that's far more interesting than the obligatory bottle of wine! You can also come visit us at Kous Kous see what we have a amuse bouche.