There is one thing I always recommend to my friends who travel to Morocco and that is tasting Moroccan street food. One of the reasons why Morocco is a great travel destination is that the country has so many things to offer and many experiences to try, and one of the best things to do in Morocco is definitely trying Moroccan food.
With no doubt, Moroccan cuisine is one of the finest and most delicious in the world. Unlike some destinations where you have few culinary specialties, in Morocco, there are dozens of specialties. You can spend all your trip trying new dishes and you might even not be able to try them all.
Even if the country is surfing on modernity, most Moroccan families cook traditional Moroccan food every day, and they keep international dishes (pasta, pizzas, sushi, etc.) to when they are going out.
Moroccan Street Food You Should Try
If you are in a restaurant or a café, make sure to try one of these famous traditional Moroccan dishes. However, your culinary discovery of Morocco wouldn’t be complete without trying Moroccan street food. So here is a full list of the Moroccan street specialties you absolutely should try.
1. Hammas Kamoun
Hammas kamoun means literally in Moroccan ‘chickpeas with cumin’. And this is what it is: cooked chickpeas seasoned with salt and cumin. Another variant is made with broad beans. Very delicious and nutritive, this is a healthy snack that will keep you full till your next Moroccan meal. You can also be inspired and make it when you are back home. A can of cooked chickpeas or broad bean, which you rinse thoroughly, add salt, cumin, and other spices if you like to, mix, and voila! You are in Morocco again!
2. Sugar-coated Peanuts
This is a sweet snack Moroccans love! It is made with whole peanuts roasted with sugar, and the result is very crispy and delicious. The stall owner often gives these peanuts in paper cones or plastic cups so you can enjoy your treat comfortably while walking and sightseeing.
3. Moroccan Harcha
Harcha is a popular Moroccan pastry made with semolina. Moroccan eat it a lot with traditional Moroccan mint tea or whenever they feel a little bit hungry on the road. Unlike most Moroccan pastries, Harcha is not sweet, and very yummy with honey and cheese, especially with fresh goat cheese or locals’ favorite brand La Vache Qui Rit. So, don’t hesitate to try different spreads, the result is very delish!
4. Sugar cane juice
This Moroccan street food is available in most Moroccan Medinas (old towns). Morocco is a big producer of sugar cane, so it is no surprise that you will find many vendors offering Moroccan cane sugar juice. You can recognize it by the big juice machine (often green) decorated with sugar canes. The juice is sweet and very energizing and will fuel you for your visit. However, if you are following a special diet, make sure you watch your consumption as it is made mostly of natural sugar.
5. Zitoun (Moroccan olives)
They are multicolor, they have different flavors, and you can find them nearly anywhere in Morocco. Moroccan olives are used in traditional Moroccan dishes like tajines, but also as a snack. While stopping by a Moroccan olive vendor, don’t be shy and take your time to taste the different olive flavors before buying. This is how Moroccans do to make sure they choose the flavors they like (some are super spicy). And there is a big chance you like and order different flavors, that is what I end up doing each time!
6. Chfanj (Moroccan donuts)
This is the Moroccan version of American donuts. It is a basic donut, fried and served either natural or topped with sugar. It is best if eaten right after buying, as it can get a little chewy if cold. Chfanj is a very popular Moroccan street food enjoyed as a snack, alone or with Moroccan mint tea.
7. Hendia (Prickly pears)
This is a fruit very popular in Morocco as a street food. If you are in the right season (late summer through early winter), you can find vendors with their traditional food truck full of prickly pears everywhere. You can either buy it in bulks and take it home with you or enjoy it right away and in this case, the vendors will peel the pears for you. The good news is, in Morocco, the prices are ridiculously cheap for this delicious nutritious fruit.
8. Ghlal (Moroccan snails)
This Moroccan street food is one of Morocco most surprising dishes for tourists, as in many countries, snails are never used for cooking. This is not the case in many Mediterranean countries like Morocco, Spain, and France where snails are very popular and cooked with different spices. It is even a high-end dish in France, served in gastronomic restaurants. In Morocco, snails are more a popular dish very cheap and affordable. The snails are cooked in a broth with special spices and herbs, which are told to be health-empowering (cold, rheumatism, ..) and very beneficial for women, especially the ones dealing with fertility issues. The snails and their broth are served in small bowls, and toothpicks are used to take the snails out of their shell. Even if Moroccans love to eat Ghlal during the winter, it still can be enjoyed all year round in most Moroccan cities.
I can say with great confidence that this is the most loved and popular pastry in Morocco. Expatriated Moroccans like me get all excited when they see this pastry somewhere outside the country. The proof, while writing this article, one of my Moroccan friends saw Mille-feuilles picture and instantly told me how much he misses this pastry and if I know how to cook it. Yes, Moroccans love it that much! Mille-feuilles is originally a French pastry, meaning in French ‘thousand layers’ as it is made with pâte feuilletée (puff pastry). However, Moroccans have appropriated this pastry and love it more than French people do. While living in France, I have never seen a French getting that excited seeing a Mille-feuilles, and some French don’t even recognize it!
10. Raib (Moroccan yogurt)
This is another Moroccan popular street food. Raib is a Moroccan yogurt naturally rich with probiotics, so very good for your tummy. The consistency is more gelatinous compared to a regular yogurt. You can have it natural with no sugar in which case it can be slightly acid. Or you can order it sweet and with different flavors (vanilla, strawberry and so much more). If you eat it with a Moroccan Harcha or a Mille-feuilles, you are definitely living the Moroccan life!