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The Essential Cookbook Collection of Moroccan Cooking

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Learning Moroccan cooking is a simple as having the right collection of cookbooks. This Factoid lists the top five best cookbooks for creating a Moroccan kitchen at home.

Years ago, Moroccan women had no need for cookbooks since recipes were passed down from mother to daughter, sister to cousin, and so on. However, anyone wanting to cook Moroccan food outside the country certainly needed some sort of guide to the exotic ingredients, odd cooking vessels, and the methods of putting the two together.

I, for one, could not present my Moroccan relatives with a single dish worth eating without the following collection of essential cookbooks.  This Factoid is a collection of cookbooks from great women who studied, tested, ate, and wrote the recipes that bring Moroccan cuisine to the world.

CousCous and Other Good Food from Morocco by Paula Wolfert

This book is the Moroccan cooking holy book. The essential recipes as well as a good foundation for Moroccan cooking are all nicely tucked into one book. This is the foundation book, the one to consult first to find a recipe for something you ate or something to try for the first time. Let it get stained with the bright yellow splatters of turmeric and a parsley leaf will permanently petrify on a page if it's being used right. When a question about a particular ingredient or method comes up, refer to this one time and time again.

Cooking Moroccan by Tess Mallos

This book is perfect for a novice cook. The simple, basic recipes do not lack a bit of authenticity or flavor, yet give confidence to one delving into this multi-faceted cuisine. The meatball tagine recipe couldn’t be simpler than making traditional spaghetti and meatball supper, but it is way more impressive. There are pages dedicated to particular ingredients offering three simple ways to prepare shrimp, carrots, and chickpeas. Pages will get dog-eared, and this book should receive its fair share of kitchen stains as well.

Traditional Moroccan Cooking, Recipes from Fez by Madam Guinaudeau

Reading more like a kitchen adventure than a cookbook, this one as an historical reference to Moroccan cooking and not a book to actually use a recipe from. The recipes are mostly written for 10-12 people making them seem a bit more daunting if you normally only cook for a few. Peppered with stories of life in Fes, and it should be read cover to cover in a short amount of time to fully absorb and appreciate all the secrets it contains.

Tagine, Spicy Stews from Morocco by Ghillie Basan

This is the book that helps spice things up, not that Moroccan food needs any spicing up! Once the basics are mastered and it’s time create new combinations in well-worn tagines, go to this book. While it includes some of the traditional tagine recipes other exciting flavors and new recipes make purchasing a tagine that much more worthwhile. There are a couple of great vegetarian tagines for when you need a lighter meal, but don’t want to sacrifice a hearty one.

Moroccan Café, Casual Moroccan Cooking at Home by Elisa Vergne

If for no other reason, this book should be in the collection for the date nut cake recipe at the back of the book. Even though the batter can get a bit sticky the rave reviews are worth it. Otherwise, there are some great recipes and the book has gorgeous full color photos of many of the dishes and Morocco. One of the pictures is a close-up of the blue and white paper packages of yellow colorant used in almost every dish in Morocco. It was quite surreal to discover those very same packages at the spice stall for the first time.

Arabesque, A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon by Claudia Roden

Get the one with the golden cover and glossy pages. This book deserves a place on a coffee table instead of a kitchen counter. It combines traditional recipes of Lebanon, Turkey, and Morocco making it a well balanced view of Middle Eastern cooking in general and a very desirable piece for the collection. Read it cover to cover, but never let a drop of water much less a spill of food touch its perfect pages.

4 comments

Simplyoj (Joy L. Carnay) Simplyoj (Joy L. Carnay)
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Posted on Mar 11, 2010
Cashlash
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Posted on Feb 25, 2010
Amanda Antara
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Posted on Feb 25, 2010
Cashlash
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Posted on Feb 24, 2010

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Amanda Antara

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