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Moroccan pastilla

Moroccan pastilla, what is it and why is it special?

Moroccan pastilla, what is it and why is it special?

One of the gastronomic proposals that you should not miss trying on your trip is the Moroccan pastry, also known as bastela or pastilla In this post we tell you what it is and why it is so special, both for the country’s own inhabitants and for its visitors.

Moroccan pastilla

What is the Moroccan pastilla

The Moroccan pastry is one of the most famous dishes in the country. It is actually a kind of cake that mixes sweet and salty flavors. It is usually served on very special occasions, such as a wedding, partly because its preparation is laborious and even involves several days, in the event that dates have to be rehydrated and the filling left to rest to achieve the right consistency.

Its main characteristic is the explosion of flavor that takes place on the palate of the diner, but also the other literal explosion: the breaking of the dough that surrounds the cake, which turns each bite into an authentic experience.

The recipes can vary a lot, and the list of ingredients is really extensive. Among the ingredients that we can consider salty are poultry, onion and boiled eggs, in addition to the classic battery of spices and typical Moroccan condiments, such as ground black pepper, saffron or ginger, or simply Ras el hanout. After a first stir-fry, all this is cooked in a pot.

Among the sweet ingredients, typical of a cake, are almond paste, dates, plums, cinnamon, sugar and butter, to name a few.

Moroccan pastilla

what makes it so special

The elaboration of the Moroccan pastilla involves numerous steps and the preparation of different elements separately. As we said, the savory sauce or salty stew is made at the beginning and the main ingredient is poultry meat: you might think that we are talking about chicken (and that is the case in many cases), but the most authentic and traditional version is with pigeon.

Another secret in making the Moroccan pastry is the almond paste, which must be added to the meat stew to give the filling the right consistency: neither too dry nor too waterlogged.

The brick or filo pastry is another distinctive detail: they are the sheets of puff pastry that are used to wrap the filling before it is put in the oven. Its fragility threatens to break the pastry when it is being prepared, cut or eaten, but it is also an indescribable pleasure.

In addition, the icing sugar sprinkled on the Moroccan pastry and the drawing made with cinnamon give a very genuine decorative touch, which each restaurant can do to their liking. By the way: it is a dish that admits a vegetarian version, if poultry and eggs are not used in the filling and vegetables or mushrooms are used instead, among other options.

And of course, you will have no problem finding Moroccan pastries in the country, since it is a national dish, available in numerous restaurants in all cities. Of course, in Marrakech, but also in Chefchaouen,Tangier or Fes, to name other examples.

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