North African cooking may not be as renowned as the old favourites, Italian, French and Chinese, but you should definitely make it your mission to track down some of these regional delicacies.
In fact, Monarch is now offering new flight routes to Enfidha in Tunisia, Agadir in Morocco, and Hurghada in Egypt so you can taste your way around North Africa and its incredible cuisine. In the meantime, however, here’s our guide to North Africa’s finest dishes and where to taste them:
Tunisia isn’t all about hummus, though you’d be mad not to have some while you’re there! However, there are a few other signature dishes that are not to be missed including brik, essentially an egg fried in a very thin pastry; kamounia, a cumin-rich meat stew; and mechouia, a blend of grilled courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes and onions mashed into a favourful paste.
If you’re flying into Enfidha, head to Café Sidi Bouhdid in Hammamet for great local fare in a gorgeous and authentic waterfront setting or, for a more upscale experience, enjoy a salade Tunisienne (think North Africa’s answer to a Salade Niçoise) at Le Barberousse, overlooking the ocean and the medina.
Morocco is a delight for foodies and the birthplace of some incredible indigenous treats, combining sweet and spicy flavours and age-old cooking techniques to create truly incredible meals. There’s tagine, a Berber dish that gets its name from the traditional dome-shaped pot it’s cooked in – it’s a spicy mixture of chickpeas, vegetables, and meat slow steamed over coals. Head to Les Blancs, Agadir’s most famous seafood restaurant, to sample a fabulous fish version of the traditional tagine.
Then there’s harira, a soup made from lentils, chickpeas, cinnamon and coriander and, for those who want something a little hardier, pastille, a filo pastry filled with chicken, parsley, cinnamon, saffron and almonds and sprinkled with sugar. Many restaurants in Agadir, like Le Jardin d’Eau, offer regional dishes like this alongside French and Mediterranean specialities.
Egyptian cuisine is a fascinating fusion of international influences. Perhaps the best example of this is kushari, a local favourite of rice, macaroni and lentils topped with tomato sauce and garnished with spaghetti, chickpeas and crispy onions! Other quintessentially Egyptian fare include ful medames, or simply f?l, a spicy fava bean stew frequently adorned with hard-boiled eggs; and fatteh, a meat soup accented with garlic and vinegar and served with crispy flatbread and rice, served on special occasions.
Traditional establishments like the Nubian Café & Restaurant in Hurghada promise to serve the best of these local delicacies.
So discover a new world of food, culture, sun and surf, with a trip to one of Monarch’s newest destinations – your taste buds will thank you!