Out of Africa: Native Foods

Northern Africa is comprised of several countries, namely Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libya and Egypt. Clearly its foods have been influenced over the centuries by the ancient Phoenicians (a Semitic civilization now modern-day Tunisia) who introduced sausages and wheat, and Berber nomads who adapted the semolina from wheat, creating couscous which has become a main staple. Fast forward a few centuries, and you have the Arabs bringing a variety of savory spices, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and saffron. From the New World, chilies, tomatoes and potatoes appeared, with lamb as a primary meat. (For you old movie buffs, Casablanca is Morocco’s chief port and the location where Humphrey Bogart’s character owned a bar.) These very foreign and strange-sounding foods make up a majority of dishes and regional cuisine:

Chermoula: a mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, cumin, and salt, used as a marinade and relish;

Couscous: popular in many countries…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *