Is Moroccan food spicy ?
That’s a tricky question I get a lot about Moroccan food.
Not everyone likes spicy hot food (personally I don’t and you will know why later). So for someone who is not very familiar with an international cuisine, it is better to check in advance in order to not be surprised.
So Is Moroccan Food Spicy ?
The answer is : it depends on what you mean by spicy. Authentic Moroccan recipes make use of a lot of spices like ginger, cumin, turmeric and many others, giving Moroccan food that special and very liked flavor. So yes! It’s quite spicy– if by spicy you mean using a “lot” of spices.
However, authentic Moroccan food is not spicy hot.
Moroccan Use of Hot Spices
In fact, unlike some Arab countries like Tunisia where adding hot spices to dishes is a must, authentic Moroccan food is not spicy hot. Or let say, 95% of it is not.
Well, sometimes it can be a liiittle bit spicy hot, but not that kind of spicy that makes you fear you won’t finish your plate.
Also, having been born and grown up in Morocco, I know for a fact that Moroccan people are not into hot spiciness. Besides, most Moroccans know that it can be very unhealthy, so they really avoid eating hot spicy food. And if ever there is someone who wants that extra hot flavor, the cook separately prepares a hot pepper, so it won’t affect the overall dish flavor.
And that’s something that stuck with me. Still now, I really avoid (and don’t enjoy) eating spicy hot dishes.
What are the remaining 5%, you might ask? Well, it is mostly from the southern regions of Morocco, in the Sahara. I remember having tried a local pizza and that was crazy spicy. With a hot weather (100F and more), you can imagine how red and sweaty I was at the end! But even then, I remember that the waiter asked me while ordering if I wanted my dish spicy or mild, and I chose the spicy version.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Moroccan restaurants in your county will follow the same rule. Especially if they are held by non-Moroccan people. So, don’t hesitate to ask prior to ordering if the food is spicy. If it’s not and you want that extra hot spicy flavor, you can ask them if they can serve you a side hot pepper 😉
However, if you travel to Morocco, the probability to have spicy hot food is really low, especially if you stick to known places in Morocco.