Movie Date Morocco
It’s long been my dream to get to Morocco. Marrakesh, Tangier, Casablance, Fez—I don’t care, just take me there.
At the moment? Dinner and a movie are as close as I get. Count me in.
Since the food part of our journey is a little easier than the movie part, we’re gonna start there. If you’d rather jump straight to the movies, click this link.
Movie Date Morocco: Quick Cuisine Overview
COUSCOUS and TAGINE: Pretty much everyone who knows anything about eating North African food will immediately identify these two quintessential dishes of Morocco (and Tunisia and Algeria as well). What people don’t realize is that you don’t have to make it with lamb or chicken—though if you do, I direct you to this lovely recipe by Nargisse Benkabbou for lamb. If you prefer chicken, vegetarian, or even a sardine tagine, she has recipes for all of those as well.
And if you take the cooking class from Brahim and Sana through AirBnB experiences, they’ll walk you step by step in making a chicken tagine while you cook in your respective kitchens. It’s under 20 bucks a person, and you can invite a friend to join in from their kitchen. Brahim and Sana send you a full shopping list prior, and you don’t need a tagine, you can just use a regular pot. Sana’s an amazing cook, and she and Brahim are a joy to spend time with.
My Tuna Tagine acknowledges that Casablanca sits right on the ocean, and uses tuna; not necessarily an Atlantic catch, but perfect in this preparation. Here’s a fun little movie to give you an idea.
In the works: Completing my recipe page and video of a vegetarian version, based on a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi. Stay tuned!
For dessert, I love Tieghan’s Chocolate Almond-Filled Phyllo cake, rolled like a snail. This is her photo, not mine; she’s a real photographer and true food artist. (I just dabble. And do my best to watch and learn.)
The cake is honestly not as difficult as it looks to make, but it is a little bit of a production. So note that, for dessert, you can be pretty spot on with just a plate of fresh oranges and plump dates. On the side: Mint Tea, preferably served Moroccan-style, in pretty little glasses I bought for a song at World Market—along with all the other cool Moroccan stuff you see in this photo.
Movie Date Morocco: Choose Your Picture
Saturday Night Entertainment: Our top movie pick for the weekend: Hideous Kinky. Kate Winslet plays a super groovy, formerly privileged but increasingly desperate mum of two young girls. She’s chosen to come to Morocco to “find herself” or some damn thing. But she’s broke and constantly trying to figure out her next move. The movie was filmed in Morocco and it’s a decent immersion-from-afar in the craziness of Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech’s main square. Starring opposite Winslet is Moroccan actor Saïd Taghmaoui; you may recognize him from Wonder Woman and John Wick 3. It’s nice to see him in a big role where he actually gets to play a person. As for the movie,speaking from experience, it nicely captures the feeling of being far from home and not knowing how or when you’ll get back.
Alternate movies: The Sheltering Sky (Morocco looks great, but then there’s John Malkovich). For something grittier, one of the movies of Nabil Ayouch; Much Loved is currently on Netflix, Razzia and Horses of God are available on Amazon Prime (and probably other places if you look around, including your local library). I’ll warn you: There are no magic carpets in Ayouch’s movies. Life in Morocco for non-tourists can be very rough indeed. But these movies are, no question, more authentic tours of the country. They’ll ring especially true if you’ve spent time with books by Moroccan authors, particularly Mohamed Choukri’s For Bread Alone or our top 5 pick, Tahar Ben Jalloun’s The Blinding Absence of Light. Our full Morocco reading list is at this link.
For even more movie choices, check out our Morocco movies page.
Let us know how your Morocco Movie Date goes!! Leave a comment or tag us—@headroamer—with #moroccomoviedate on Insta or Twitter.