This month for Tastetrotting Across The Globe we are tasting our way through Morocco!
This northern African country is a unique mix of Arabic, European, African, and Berber cultures, which is what makes their cuisine exciting. Nomads (also known as Berbers) were the first inhabitants of Morocco over two thousand years ago.
Morocco has a complex history that has strongly influenced its culinary traditions. The biggest impact probably comes from Frenchmen (along with the Spaniards) who ruled the country for 50 years in the 20th century. You can still see the influence just by seeing the number of French food options in Morocco.
So, what does a typical Moroccan breakfast look like? First of all, bread is a common staple. Morocco bread is eaten with every meal including breakfast! Pancakes made from semolina are also frequent items found on a Moroccan breakfast table. Other Moroccan breakfast staples are fresh goat cheese and olives. Fried eggs are also a favorite in Morocco too. Then there are beverages. Freshly squeezed orange juice and the famous Moroccan Mint Tea are common Moroccan favorites.
When we enjoyed our Moroccan breakfast, we did not do a full Moroccan breakfast menu because I just do not eat much for breakfast. We just had the Beghrir and the Moroccan Mint Tea (both recipes I am sharing in this post) on our Moroccan breakfast table.
Let’s take a closer look at what Moroccan’s might put on their breakfast table.Taste your way through Morocco with this full Moroccan breakfast. #glutenfree… Click To Tweet
As mentioned above, bread is the cornerstone of Moroccan cuisine. Hardly any Moroccan meal is served without bread on the table. Bread has always played an important role in the life of Moroccans. Most communities have a communal bakery where you can take your own dough and bake it in a giant oven, for a small fee. People sit around inside the big stone room surrounding the oven chatting away while they wait for their bread to bake.
There are wide variety of Moroccan breads to choose from. The common staple bread that you will find on every corner in Morocco is Khobz. While researching I learned that Khobz is just a general Arabic word for any kind of bread. The crust of Khobz is also used to scoop up food from plates.
Another major Moroccan breakfast staple is pancakes. The most commonly popular pancake is Baghrir. Baghrir is usually made with semolina flour and are typically served with syrup made from melted butter and honey. But considering semolina is not Gluten Free, I had to get a little creative and use Gluten Free Baking Flour and Cornmeal when making my Baghrir. These pancakes are cooked on one side and these little holes appear when you are cooking them. You will notice when making Beghrir that they have the consistency of crepe batter. If your interested in making Gluten Free Baghrir, I have provided the full recipe at the bottom of this post.
There is also another popular pancake in Morocco known as Rghaif. Depending on how the dough was folded during preparation, it can be called by other names such as Msemen or Meloui. Pancakes are usually eaten with honey, melted butter, or jam. The most popular types of jam in Morocco are strawberry or apricot.
Mint Tea is always a common beverage found on any Moroccan breakfast table. For Moroccans, mint tea is as important as Early Grey is for the British and Green Tea is for the Chinese. Their version is so easy to make! A common ingredient found in Moroccan Mint Tea is Gunpowder Green Tea. Since I was unable to find this at any of my local grocery stores, I just made mine using green tea bags. There is also usually loads of sugar in their mint tea, but I toned my version down a bit.
Moroccan also love fresh orange juice with their breakfast.
Since I made Mint Tea to go with Baghrir, I am also sharing my version of Moroccan Mint Tea. I did not take very many pictures when I was making the Moroccan Mint Tea, because a lot of my picture focus was on the Baghrir.
Moroccan Mint Tea
Makes 2 servings
Moroccan Simple Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 3 Whole Cloves
- 1/2 Cup Crystalized Ginger
Moroccan Mint Tea
- 4 Green Tea Bags
- 2 Cups Boiling Water
- 2 tbsp. Sugar
- 3-5 Fresh Mint Leaves + additional for garnish, if desired.
For the Moroccan Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine all the simple syrup ingredients and bring to a simmer on low heat. Continue to simmer for 10 min. Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to discard any solids.
For the Moroccan Mint Tea: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and steep the tea bags for about 7 min.
Place some ice in 2 glass cups. Place 1/4 cup of the simple syrup into each glass. Pour the hot tea over the ice. Stir.
Garnish with fresh mint leaves, if desired.
Amlou is a classic Moroccan dip made from almonds, argan oil, and honey. Now doesn’t that sound so delicious? I decided not to make this because Argan oil is expensive. But recently, I learned that a close substitute for Argan oil is walnut oil. Now that I know this, I may just have to give it a try! To use the Amlou just use it for dipping your bread.
Last but not least, fried eggs! The people of Africa even love eggs for breakfast too. There are a few differences from the way we eat them though. They do not use bacon, sausage, or anything like that. They prefer to have their eggs without any kind of meat or they also have a traditional preserved meat called Khlii. It is made from seasoned lamb or beef dried in the sun for a few days and then it is cooked in animal fat, oil and water. Khlii can be stored for up to 2 years at room temperature. Moroccans love Khlii with fried or scrambled eggs.
The Moroccan way of eating is with your hands. No cutlery, just bread. Break the egg yolk with some bread, mix it around a little then add some Zataar (cumin, sesame seeds, and salt).
So what else can you find on a Morrocan Breakfast table? Goat cheese, olives, strawberry or apricot jam.