Spices of Morocco
Morocco is known for its rich and flavorful cuisine , which is heavily influenced by its location at the crossroads of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Some of the most popular spices used in Moroccan cooking include:
1. Ras el hanout: This is a blend of spices that typically includes a combination of ginger, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and other spices. It’s a staple in many Moroccan dishes, such as tajine and couscous.
2. Paprika: This spice is used to add a mild heat and smoky flavor to dishes.
3. Cumin: This spice is used to add a warm, earthy flavor to many Moroccan dishes.
4. Coriander: This spice is used to add a fresh, citrusy flavor to dishes.
5. Turmeric: This spice is used to add a warm, slightly bitter flavor to dishes, and also to add a yellow color to dishes.
6. Saffron: This is one of the most expensive spices in the world, but it’s used in many Moroccan dishes to add a delicate, floral flavor and a deep yellow color.
7. Black pepper: This spice is used to add a spicy and pungent flavor to dishes.
8. Ginger: This spice is used to add a warm and spicy flavor to dishes, it’s often used in meat dishes.
These are just a few examples of the many spices commonly used in Moroccan cooking. Some of the best way to experience these flavors is by trying traditional Moroccan dishes such as tagine or couscous with different spices.
Where to buy the spices?
There are several places in Marrakech where you can buy spices, including:
1. The Souk: The souk, or traditional market, is a great place to buy spices in Marrakech. You’ll find a wide variety of spices for sale, from basic staples like cumin and paprika to more exotic blends like Ras el Hanout. Be prepared to haggle for the best prices.
2. The Central Market: Also known as the « souk of the spices », it’s a great spot to buy spices in Marrakech. You’ll find a wide variety of spices and herbs, including saffron, ginger, turmeric, and more.
3. Specialty Stores: There are several specialty stores that sell spices in Marrakech, such as « La Maison de la Vanille » or « Spice Square ». These stores offer a wide selection of high-quality spices and herbs and typically have knowledgeable staff who can help you find the perfect spices for your needs.
4. Jemaa El Fna : This is the main square in Marrakech, and it’s surrounded by many street vendors that sell spices and herbs. You can find small stands selling spices in small quantities, you can also find vendors selling herbs and dried fruits.
5. Organic markets: There are several organic markets in Marrakech that sell high-quality, fresh spices and herbs. These markets are a great option if you’re looking for organic or locally-sourced spices, they are held on different days of the week and in different locations.
It’s a good idea to check out several places to find the best prices and selection, and also to be prepared to haggle for the best deal. Keep in mind that some places may have a fixed price, so make sure you know the price before you start haggling.