Some Moroccan breakfast dishes are quite simple in both form and flavor. Others are more complex. What’s certain is that whether you’re staying in a luxury Marrakech riad or in budget digs, you’ll have the chance to sample the best the country has to offer. What do Moroccans eat for breakfast? There’s an easy way to find out, and that’s to keep reading!
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What Do Moroccans Eat For Breakfast?
Undoubtedly the most common Morocco breakfast items are locally made breads, olive oil, and black tea loaded with fresh mint leaves. They are items eaten by the full spectrum of Moroccan society.
So important are they, that householders often head out at first light to buy freshly-baked loaves from the neighborhood bakery. Once sliced, loaves tend to be gentle toasted, often over open coal fires, before being dipped in olive oil. The is the Moroccan equivalent of butter and margarine.
Spend any time in the north African kingdom, and you’ll also soon discover that where food is concerned, sweet mint tea is never far away. There’s no surprise then that it is the country’s most popular breakfast drink. It’s not uncommon to dip breads into tea as well, especially if it has become a little stale overnight.
But with chilly winters, breakfast in Morocco can also take the form of several hot dishes, such as soups and stews, which at first may seem more suitable for lunches or dinners. However, with such amazing scents seeping from kitchens across the country, it would be a real shame to not sample at least some of the dishes that come from them while you’re in Morocco.
Learn more about Moroccan Food:
9 Moroccan Breakfast Foods For You To Try
|🍽 Breakfast Item||🇲🇦 Moroccan Name|
|🍞 Moroccan Flour Bread||Msemmen or M’smen
|🍜 Moroccan Fava Bean Soup||B’ssara Soup or Bissara|
|🫓 Moroccan Flat Bread||Harcha|
|🥞 Moroccan Pancakes||Moroccan Baghrir|
|🥜 Moroccan Almond Butter||Amlou|
|🍜 Moroccan Cracked Barley Soup||Dchicha|
|🥙 Moroccan Pita||Batbout|
|🧀 Moroccan Cheese||Jben|
Our Top Moroccan Breakfast Foods
Below we detail some of the Moroccan breakfast foods we’ve fallen in love with. For a deeper look into all aspects of the country’s cuisine, make sure to check out our guide to Morocco’s traditional foods.
Msemmen or M’smen
This Moroccan breakfast staple is a type of flatbread made from a mix of plain flour and durum wheat semolina (the same base ingredient to couscous).
During the kneading and rolling process, small balls of msemmen dough are rolled to such an extent that they become transparent, before being folded in on themselves. Repeating this action creates individual layers which separate as the bread cooks.
The result is a crunchy exterior texture, and softer chewy interior. As you’ll find with many recipes, msemmen is often served with honey.
B’ssara Soup or Bissara
While soup may not be everyone’s idea of breakfast, b’ssara is very definitely part of a typical Moroccan breakfast!
Packed full of flavors that are sure to set your taste buds alight, b’ssara is a relatively thick soup. In fact, some people cook it down further and serve it as a dip.
The ingredient that gives this soup its body is the fava bean, while the heady flavor comes from a mix of unforgettable Moroccan spices that include sweet paprika, garlic and cumin alongside a dash of lemon juice and another of olive oil.
Another Moroccan breakfast bread, harcha takes the form of a thick disc, making it easy to mistake for a pancake.
Slightly yellow in color due to the use of a mixture of ground and coarse semolina, many compare harcha favorably to cornbread, which has a similar taste and texture.
Generally cooked on an oiled griddle until they begin to take on more color, harcha are generally served with jelly, cheese triangles, or butter.
Also making use of the Moroccan cook’s most-loved ingredient, semolina, baghrir can be considered a true pancake.
Soft and shallow like a French crepe, each baghrir is marked with hundreds of air bubbles that help keep them light.
Although relatively plain when eaten on their own, baghrir will usually come alongside a warm syrupy mixture made with equal quantities of honey and melted butter. Yum!
Morocco’s version of peanut butter, amlou is a sticky brown spread made from ground almonds, honey and argan oil.
The almonds are usually roasted first to provide a more intense flavor, while argan oil is pressed from the nut of the locally-sourced argan tree.
Originating from Morocco’s southern regions, amlou provides a sweet hit to dishes such as baghrir, and is a popular find on breakfast tables as a result.
The second soup to make our list of dishes you might find in a typical breakfast in Morocco, dchicha has the less evocative English name of cracked wheat soup.
In addition to the cracked wheat (a cousin of bulgur wheat), the soup contains ginger, sweet paprika, and a touch of saffron.
These ingredients are cooked with nothing more than water until the wheat has softened, absorbing the spices, and the liquid has reduced slightly to the consistency of a broth.
Spicy hot and physically warming, it’s the perfect dish to get you out and about on one of Morocco’s cooler mornings.
If you hadn’t guessed already, Moroccans do love their bread! Batbout can be thought of as the Moroccan version of the pita bread.
Ideal for filling with cheeses and other goodies, batbout has a slightly softer texture than pita breads usually do, although they share the same dense texture.
A further difference between the two is the fact batbout are cooked on the stove top. They can also go by the name of matlouh, toghrift, and mkhamer, so keep an ear out for each.
The home turf of jben is the blue city of Chefchaouen in what was once Spanish Morocco. Particularly common in the country’s northwest as a result, jben is traditionally made from goat’s milk, although a mixture of cow’s milk and buttermilk can also be used.
Undergoing no form of preservation, the milk is set before being wrapped in palm leaves and sold fresh. Its light texture means it can be sliced, or spread like butter, and makes for an ideal accompaniment to the many traditional Moroccan breakfast breads. Salt can be added to taste.
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
Vitamin-rich orange juice is a welcome addition to any breakfast table in our books, and Moroccans obviously agree! One of the most popular things to drink in Morocco, it’s not to be missed.
Wander the streets of any big city and you’ll soon come across a stall or cart lined with rows of homegrown oranges just waiting to be pressed.
No wonder then that freshly squeezed orange juice is so common for breakfast!
FAQs – Moroccan Breakfast Foods
A Moroccan breakfast features bread, jams, and spreads. You’ll often find a barley soup option as well as mint tea and coffee.
While you will find coffee, mint tea is the preferred drink of choice at a Moroccan breakfast. In addition to mint tea, locally grown oranges are squeezed into some of the best orange juice in the world.
Dishes such as couscous, lamb, and chickpeas are amongst the many traditional Moroccan foods. These are other ingredients are often cooked in a traditional tagine.