Marrakech – it’s a bubbling cauldron full of colour, emotion, vibrance, and chaos. There’s no other way to describe this city.
There are magicians that appear out of nowhere, snake charmers beguiling tourists in the city centre, street food vendors peddling their wares, potters conjuring colourful tagines, and confectioners doling Moroccan breads and sweets to little kids. Then there are the street food stalls lining every alley of this North African city.
Marrakech’s characteristic hustle bustle is amplified manifold as locals and tourists alike congregate at these stalls to devour flavourful cuisine that is bound to leave an impression on every visitor. It’s hard to choose from aubergines glistening with oil, tender lamb coated with local herbs, snails overflowing from buckets, cous-cous cooked to perfection, local olives from the Atlas mountains, rich stews, and colourful tagines.
Here are 5 things that you absolutely must try when you’re in Marrakech:
Who can resist endless rows of perfectly symmetrical skewers of meat? Moroccans like to roast their meat over an open grill. The coal lends the kebabs a subtle smokiness that makes them absolutely scrumptious.
If there is one dish that defines Moroccan cuisine, it is the tagine. A variety of vegetables and meats are slow-cooked in a clay pot called the tagine. The resultant dish is zesty and full of flavour. Make sure you use the accompanying bread to scoop the gravy – it’s a skill that locals have mastered to the T.
3) Orange juice
We’ll let you into a little secret. Nobody does orange juice like the Moroccans. Local Moroccan oranges are ambrosial, to say the least! The resultant juice is sure to make your tongue break into a dance. We dare you not to go back for seconds.
Nothing screams Morocco like a bowl full of snails. Snails are served at most roadside stalls at the Djemma El Fnaa in Marrakech. They’re simmered to perfection in a watery broth seasoned with pepper, citrus peel, aniseed, mint, and a selection of other herbs. Pluck the snails from their shells and don’t forget to slurp on the broth once you’re done devouring the snails – it’s supposed to be good for digestion.
5) Mint tea
There’s no better way to wash down a heavy meal or wind up a day in Marrakech than by sipping on a glass of sweet mint tea. This sweet concoction, served in dainty glasses, is not just a beverage in Morocco. It’s a symbol of friendship, hospitality, and so much more. Locals, old and young, spend hours catching up with each other over endless cups of mint tea and you just can’t leave the country without a cup (or a dozen?)
Once you have had your fair share of Moroccan delicacies, you should head out to discover other hidden gems in Marrakech. This list of our favourite things to do in Marrakech and our expert guide on surviving the souks of Marrakech will definitely come in handy.