Couscous is considered a national dish of morocco on many religious occasions, such as the obituary of the dead, the establishment of favour, during the traditional and religious seasons, during the harvest season, and at desert weddings, and even has a presence in religious feasts.
Moroccan cuisine is characterized by many famous dishes, most of which are popular and ancient dishes with a long history, as many visitors come from different countries to taste the delicious dishes of Moroccan cuisine. It contains a number of popular and delicious dishes.
Moroccan cuisine is influenced by Morocco’s interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations through the centuries by virtue of its location. Moroccan cuisine is usually a mixture of Berber, Andalusian and Mediterranean cuisine, with European (French and Spanish) and Sub-Saharan influences.
In 2019, the Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania) submitted an application to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). On December 16, 2020, the couscous dish and the knowledge of its production and consumption were included in the list of the intangible human heritage of the Maghreb countries in the list of the intangible cultural heritage of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Tunisia.
UNESCO’s recognition of the couscous dish on December 16, 2020, as a global meal and intangible human heritage, restores consideration to food that represents a way of life and cultural heritage inherited by Moroccans over centuries. Moroccan couscous is not just a meal which the Moroccans in particular in the Maghreb region, but it is the “password” for the depth of a Moroccan civilization that was sprawling from Niger to the gates of Tripoli and even beyond the sea on the Spanish frontier.
Moroccan couscous has been transformed into a plastic palette with its bright green colours, its different formations, and its varied rituals from one region to another. UNESCO did not present a fingerprint of approval for a dish that carries a lot of art and magic.
National Dish of Morocco
The Moroccan couscous dish is a product of the Moroccan civilization that always seeks exclusivity, although some refer to its presence in some areas of France and Italy, it may be acceptable considering their belonging to the Mediterranean basin, but the Moroccan footprint remains strongly present in the preparation and presentation of the distinctive couscous dish The Moroccan cuisine is rich in its dishes.
The circulation of the couscous meal in the Moroccan Badia was associated with ancient popular terms and vocabulary, which cannot be dispensed within the culture of Moroccan cuisine, for example, utensils for preparing and serving it to family members were previously made of copper, clay and wood (lekhdima or gedra, and keskas, And mghorfa, and gesriya), where the preparation of couscous was linked to an ancient Moroccan proverb.
The Moroccan couscous meal is prepared by cooking “semolina” in a perforated pot called “keskas.” It is a hemispherical pot with a bottom that contains small holes that allow the steaming of the fragrant broth to rise from the bottom pot to the “semolina” substance. The keskas is placed over the pot. It is filled with broth, called (gedra), which is a vessel whose spout size matches the bottom of the keskas.
Some areas of the Moroccan Badia still serve couscous in pots made of juniper wood or clay, and it can only be carried by several people or transported on the camel’s back, (by means of a net) due to the wide area of its rays in relation to the generosity. This type of couscous casserole is served in the seasons of Rakrakah (Al-Shayazima) and in the regions of Abda, Doukkala and Ahmar… It is decorated with nuts, sweets and other things according to ability.
Types of Moroccan Couscous
The types of Moroccan couscous are varied and different according to the materials that go into its preparation, according the seasons of the year. In the winter, most Moroccans prefer preparing a dish of couscous with cornflour, and this is the most difficult couscous dish to prepare, Moroccans prefer it with head meat, and various vegetables (turnips, carrots, pumpkin, eggplant, beans, tomatoes…), as well as couscous (Balboula) barley flour with the same ingredients, with an additional preference for dried meat (Qadid and Cardas) for Eid al-Adha.
As for couscous with high-quality wheat flour, with beef or sheep with various vegetables, it is considered one of the main meals throughout the year. Every Friday on festive occasions, couscous is prepared with “tfaya.” This model is often served after the barbecue meal. With onions and raisins and it tastes sweet (cinnamon and sugar) as it goes with the local chicken meat.
All Moroccan couscous dishes are served with a drink of cow’s milk, as it helps digestion and protects the stomach from the complications of fat. There are even those who prefer “sikok” (food with milk) after a meal of couscous.