In effervescent Moroccan cuisine there is a striking combination of simplicity and refinement. Their dishes take an elaboration of hours, where the meats are macerated and left cooking on low heat, so that they are flavored with spices or marinated with herbs (the most typical: cilantro and mint) or in rose water and / or orange blossom water.
Cous cous is present in most dishes and is one of the most economically accessible foods. Among the meats, the most consumed are those of lamb and chicken. The pig is almost not found in the diet or in the market, it is a religious issue and it is strictly respected. Like alcohol that is contraband in small towns and only found in restaurants and some markets.
But tea is the most typical, since it is your national, official and preferred drink (like mate in Argentina). On every street, every corner, and even in the middle of the desert there is a very sweet and aromatic mint tea, and if not, you can ask for tea delivery, because they do exist, they are very typical.
And at the time of eating everything is simple and share. Thus, when a tajine or cous cous reaches the table in its clay bowl where it is prepared, cooked and served, an invasion of the senses can be felt. The soft steam of the recent cooking hits your face, you smell that combination of spices, meats, vegetables, you feel the noise of ceramics fresh from the fire and you share the same dish with the rest of the diners.
You only need a spoon or fork, since the meats are disarmed. Knives are not used, if you want help to eat, you can only use your fingers or bread … nothing more. Although all the meals start with a portion of nuts, it does not matter if sweet or salty, it is followed by a small salad, if possible spicy (“to open the way to the palate”, they say), it is followed by a hot dish containing meat and then fruits, in quantity.