Inside the kitchen of a Moroccan Family
Our country, Morocco, is known for its breathtaking scenery, for its gastronomy to fall to the ground, for the warmth welcoming and friendliness of its inhabitants but especially for .. its families.
Family is one of the most important elements of everyday’s life in Morocco. The Moroccan family is a living family, who spend a lot of time together, especially around good meals. Most interaction in the house took place at dinner, when everybody would gather around a great meal cooked by the mother of the house.
We can see that family relations in Morocco are centralized around the closeness and availability throughout their lifetimes. They make decisions as a family unit and rarely speak in opposition. Even though in history morocco was a male dominated society, nowadays they are changing so fast to include equal family rights to women as well. The family structure in Morocco is in a constant process of evolution to become increasingly modern and tolerant of new beliefs within their society.
You first have to know that in Morocco, eating with your hands is a time-honoured tradition. Rule number one: eat with your right hand only, using the thumb and first two fingers. Using more is a sign of gluttony.
For breakfast, many Moroccans eat bread with olive oil, jam, butter olives, tea, and different kinds of Moroccan crepes.
Lunch is the main meal in Moroccan. Most families eat the midday meal at home together before going back to work. The meal starts with green vegetables or salads called tapas, which are followed by tajine, a stew or soup. Hard-boiled eggs, bread, lamb or chicken and couscous are common parts of a Moroccan lunch as well.
Dinner is usually leftovers from lunch or a light dish quickly cooked.
Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, involves abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and other activities between sunrise and sunset. This period of the year is usually a time for big family gatherings. And with large get-togethers comes great food layouts, too.
In Morocco, iftar is more commonly called ftour, the same word used for breakfast. Dates, milk, juices, and sweets typically provide the sugar surge needed after a day of going without food. Harira, a hearty lentil and tomato soup, satisfies hunger and restores energy. Hard-boiled eggs, sweet or savory filled pastries, fried fish, and various pancakes and flatbreads might also be served.
Large batches of sweets such as sellou and chebekia are traditionally prepared in advance for use throughout the month as are cookies and other pastries. These, and other Ramadan recipes can be made all year round, but they are especially popular during this holy month.
There are plenty of Moroccan foods that you can prepare ahead of time, such as ftour items that you can make and freeze well before the month of fasting begins.
Since family get-togethers usually include extended families and members of the community in large gatherings, a huge tagine is often prepared, served with the crusty Moroccan bread called khobz, fresh fruit, and mint tea.
FOOD FOR RELIGIOUS AND HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS
During the holy season of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during the day, a thick soup called harira is served at night. A bowl of harira, which is made with beans and lamb, is served with fresh dates. It is served both at home and in cafes.
For the holiday Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, a holiday feast is prepared. A popular dish at this feast is Pastilla, made with chicken wrapped in pastry dough. More than 100 layers of pastry dough may be used.
The Muslim feast day of Eid el Kebir takes place seventy days after Ramadan. For this holiday, a sheep is roasted on a spit and served whole at the table. Each person cuts off a piece and dips it into a dish of cumin.