Eating out is one of the big attractions of Morocco. Morocco’s traditional, elaborate haute cuisine dishes are excellent, healthy and good value for money.

It is easy to see why Robert Carrier, celebrated cook and food writer, once described Moroccan food as among the most exciting in the world.

The variety of ingredients and spices used is impressive. Morocco’s abundance of fresh, locally grown foodstuffs creates an abundance of a meat, fish, fruit, root vegetables, nuts and aromatic spices, so integral to typical Moroccan cuisine.

With Arab, Berber, Roman, African, French and Spanish influences, the Moroccan food positively reflects the country's rich cultural heritage.

Moroccan Specialities:

• Harira - a rich soup made with chick peas and lentils

• Pastilla - a pigeon-meat pastry made from dozens of different layers of thick flaky dough, almonds and cinnamon

• Couscous - a dish based on steamed semolina that can be combined with egg, chicken, lamb or vegetables

• Tajine – a slow stew, often rich and fragrant, using marinated lamb or chicken. It is named after the conical-shaped earthenware dish it is cooked in

• Hout - fish version of the tajine stew

• Djaja mahamara - chicken stuffed with almonds, semolina and raisins

• Mchoui - pit-roasted mutton

• Kab-el-ghzal – (gazelle’s horns) almond pastries in crescent shapes and coated with icing sugar

….. are your taste buds tingling yet?

Moroccan drinks:

• Mint Tea - an integral part of Moroccan life. It is extremely refreshing and made with green tea, fresh mint and plenty of sugar

• Coffee - Arabic style, is very strong, thick and black

• Freshly-squeezed fruit juice – from local oranges or lemons

• Local lager – 3 locally produced lagers are Flag Special, Stork and Casablanca

• Local wine – this is excellent. Labels to look out for include Guerrouane, Beau Vallon and Gris de Boulaoune

Restaurants: usually serve French, Italian or Spanish cuisine as well as typical Moroccan dishes. The three-course fixed menus are inexpensive.

Bars: can have either waiter or counter service. Laws on alcohol are liberal for non-Muslim visitors and in most tourist areas bars will stay open late. Wines, beers and spirits are widely available, while the Moroccan versions offer the best value for money.

Many of the souks have stalls selling kebabs (brochettes) often served with a spicy sauce. Other Moroccan dishes can be eaten in small, basic restaurants within the souks or medinas. They are cheap, simply served but mouth wateringly delicious.