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Baba Ganoush (or Baba Ganouj) recipe from Moroccan Chef Amina Zarkat

FÈS, Morocco — Each day here, the newspaper Le Matin posts the date as it appears in four calendars: the Jewish or Hebrew calendar; the Arabic or Islamic calendar; the common or Gregorian calendar; and the Amazir calendar of the Berber people, the Amazighs, the indigenous people to Morocco.

For example, the weekend edition of Le Matin for “17-18-19 janvier 2020” (in American English, January 17-19, 2020) is the Gregorian listing, and “21-22-23 joumada al ouda 1441” is the Islamic, and “22-23-24 Tevet 5780” is the Hebrew. (The Berber font resembles Greek, but just, although one can read that the Berber year this year is 2970.)

These calendars are a good introduction to the food of Morocco, greatly influenced as it has been by these four important cultures.

Many Jews settled here, for example, pushed out of Spain centuries ago (especially the region of Andalusia in southern Spain) just to Morocco’s north. You see Sephardic cuisine in Morocco’s fish dishes, in its lavish use of cumin and cilantro, or its use of lamb and chicken in place of pork (the latter choice it shares with Arabic cooking).

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