Moroccan and North Africa food still tends to be less well known for the majority of people and if pushed a few might struggle to recall something about lamb or couscous. So maybe this book will help educate you, let you make some Moroccan food at home and let you realise that many dishes might not be as unfamiliar as you first think.
This colourful book is a mix between traditional recipe book, travel book and a general cuisine book. The balance and format seems to be just about right but there is a clear bias towards the food. No hotel or restaurant recommendations here! You can sense the author's love and enthusiasm for Morocco through the printed word. After a brief introduction it is straight into the food.
Split into key sections of breakfasts, salads & vegetables, street foods & snacks, soups, savoury pastries, tagines, roasts, desserts and finally condiments, the book works to take you on a culinary tour of very diverse, colourful foods with the added bonus (?) that you get to make them yourselves. When leafing through the recipes you can easily be mesmerised by the high-quality colour photographs of the dishes, many of them resemble a true work of art.
The recipes themselves appear relatively easy to follow and understand. It would have been nice to have had an estimation of typical preparation and cooking times though. Small things help the unwary, particularly with unfamiliar dishes. Maybe the reviewer has been spoiled with the Internet and eBooks but this is one of those books where the reviewer's finger nearly pressed the (printed) name of a few unfamiliar ingredients subconsciously, expecting a 'clarification' to pop up. An element of manual signposting (i.e., see page x) would have been an appreciated little gesture here for those unfamiliar items and terms. Furthermore a separate section giving a bit of background information to the various ingredients used with Moroccan cooking and perhaps even a bit of text about their food and eating customs in its own chapter would have been great additions. Whilst the book is full of great, interesting and intriguing recipes, there just feels a bit of an empty hole, a chunk missing if you will. This is a shame.
So with a few slight misgivings that perhaps take more of a shine off things than strictly necessary, this book is still a great, if not wholly-complete, overview of Moroccan foods. Just a few pages more would have possibly made it perfect!