The culture of Morocco reflects the Berber and Arab influences represented by its population. The majority of Morocco's population identifies as Berber and Arab. At least a third of the population speaks an Amazigh language. Following the Islamic conquests, Arab tribes came to Morocco and settled in the low regions, such as Tadla and Doukkala. For example, there are groups called Charkawa and Arbawa who settled in Morocco from Arabia. The Charkawa claimed to be descended from Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second caliph of Islam.
Food & Dining
The main Moroccan dish most people are familiar with is couscous,the old national delicacy. Beef is the most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco, usually eaten in a tagine with a wide selection of vegetables. Chicken is also very commonly used in tagines, or roasted.
Lamb is also heavily consumed, and since Moroccan sheep breeds store most of their fat in their tails, Moroccan lamb does not have the pungent flavour that Western lamb and mutton have.[citation needed
Since Morocco lies on two coasts, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Moroccan cuisine has ample seafood dishes. European pilchard is caught in large but declining quantities. Other fish species include mackerel, anchovy, sardinella, and horse mackerel.
Other famous Moroccan dishes are Pastilla (also spelled Basteeya or Bestilla), Tanjia and Harira, a typical heavy soup, eaten during winter to warm up and is usually served for dinner, it is typical eaten with plain bread or with dates during the month of Ramadan. Bissara is a broad bean-based soup that is also consumed during the colder months of the year.
A big part of the daily meal is bread. Bread in Morocco is principally made from durum wheat semolina known as khobz. Bakeries are very common throughout Morocco and fresh bread is a staple in every city, town and village. The most common is whole grain coarse ground or white flour bread or baguettes. There are also a number of flat breads and pulled unleavened pan-fried breads.
In addition, there are dried salted meats and salted preserved meats such as kliia/khlia and g'did, which are used to flavor tagines or used in "el ghraif", a folded savory Moroccan pancake.
Salad asorti, served in Beni MellalSalads include both raw and cooked vegetables, served either hot or cold. Cold salads include zaalouk, an aubergine and tomato mixture, and taktouka (a mixture of tomatoes, smoked green peppers, garlic and spices) characteristic of the cities of Taza and Fes, in the Atlas
DessertsUsually, seasonal fruits rather than cooked desserts are served at the close of a meal. A common dessert is kaab el ghzal ("gazelle's horns"), a pastry stuffed with almond paste and topped with sugar. Another is "Halwa chebakia", pretzel-shaped dough deep-fried, soaked in honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds; it is eaten during the month of Ramadan. Coconut fudge cakes, 'Zucre Coco', are popular also.
SeafoodMorocco is fortunate to have over 3000 km of coast line. There is an abundance of fish in these coastal waters with the sardine being commercially significant as Morocco is the world's largest exporter.
At Moroccan fish markets one can find, sole, swordfish, tuna, tarbot, mackerel, shrimp, congre eel, skate, red snapper, spider crab, lobster and a variety of mollusks.
Assorted seafood in Morocco at the Marché Central in Casablanca,DrinksMain article: Moroccan tea cultureThe most popular drink is green tea with mint. Traditionally, making good mint tea in Morocco is considered an art form and the drinking of it with friends and family is often a daily tradition. The pouring technique is as crucial as the quality of the tea itself. Moroccan tea pots have long, curved pouring spouts and this allows the tea to be poured evenly into tiny glasses from a height. For the best taste, glasses are filled in two stages. The Moroccans traditionally like tea with bubbles, so while pouring they hold the teapot high above the glasses. Finally, the tea is accompanied with hard sugar cones or lumps. Morocco has an abundance of oranges and tangerines, so fresh orange juice is easily found freshly squeezed and is cheap.