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"Foreign & Not-So-Foreign Foods" by Mallory Mrozinski

"Foreign & Not-So-Foreign Foods" by Mallory Mrozinski

Salaam! As I have been getting acclimated to my life in Morocco, one thing sticks out to me - the food! Before my arrival, I was anticipating a life full of incredibly spicy and consistently Moroccan cuisine. I laughed with my mom about how all of my favorite “American” foods are not American at all, but rather American takes on foreign cuisine - whether it be lo mein from Chinese takeout, my mom’s Lithuanian golumpkis, or a burrito bowl from any of my favorite Mexican places. We jokingly speculated that Morocco would perhaps have its own take on “foreign” food not foreign to Americans, such as an imitation on Texas Barbecue or Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Ironically, this ended up being - more or less - true! Because I try to keep my parents updated on most things, I have pictures of any time my diet strayed from the Moroccan norm of tajine, tea (attay), and fresh bread (khubst). Here are the highlights thus far:

Lunch by my host mom comprised of kefta (meatballs) and her insanely delicious potato purée (better than mashed potatoes - yes that’s possible)! Photo credit: Mallory Mrozinski, 2018

I am incredibly fortunate to live directly above a popular Syrian restaurant. Their shawarma roasts on an enormous spindle all day long with an aroma that inspires jealousy in everyone walking past the storefront. It is served with pita wraps and various small condiments like sauces, pickles, and shredded vegetables. Also noteworthy: Syrian tea, darker and spicier than Moroccan, with just the right amount of sugar as the perfect companion to every order. Photo credit: Mallory Mrozinski, 2018

Back to my host mom’s cooking. This time I was blessed with chicken and lots of spices, adorned with a beautiful green salad - just look at that tomato rose! While my American palate was accustomed to an assortment of salad dressing to choose from any time vegetables were placed on the table, Moroccans keep it simple by adding the slightest sprinkle of salt. Photo credit: Mallory Mrozinski, 2018

It’s becoming glaringly obvious that I have a “thing” for Levantine foods. No, this is not from the Syrian restaurant I live above, this is from a Lebanese restaurant (known to locals as “The Lebanese Restaurant”) just a few blocks’ walk into the city. Tabbouleh is a salad made from parsley, mint, bulgur, onion, and tomato, seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. This is a must-try for my friends and me every time we see it on a menu, and we are determined to find the best in Rabat! Photo credit: Mallory Mrozinski, 2018

This might be my most “odd” restaurant experience so far. Because my host family serves lots of delicious tajine, I have not been so inclined as to order it out at a restaurant. AMIDEAST brought us to a traditional Moroccan restaurant with some of our professors, however, and tajine seemed to be the specialty menu item, so I thought I might bend the rules just once. I ordered one described as lemon chicken tajine with vegetables. Imagine my surprise (read: delight) when I uncovered the steaming-hot dish to discover that the “vegetables” were french fries! All in all, the lesson to be learned? Food is adventure! Photo credit: Mallory Mrozinski, 2018

"More than Mansaf" by Samantha Manno

"More than Mansaf" by Samantha Manno

Apply for Summer Learn & Serve in Tunisia!

Apply for Summer Learn & Serve in Tunisia!