The essence of a warm and authentic
However modern a home might be with its electric cookers and kitchen gadgets, no Moroccan home is complete without its pottery tagine. That’s because it is a fundamental part of traditional Moroccan cuisine so an absolute must-have for Moroccan women. A tagine gives dishes a very special flavor that you don’t get when using a stainless steel pot or other type of pressure cooker. It has thus become an ambassador for Morocco abroad when it comes to this kind of cooking utensil, and to such an extent that most foreigners associate the world with Morocco. For many centuries it was the national Moroccan dish and represented a warn homely welcome. It was seen as the art of eating well and testimony to Moroccan women’ skill in this field, so much so that it became part and parcel of the home / kitchen and an integral part of an age-long Moroccan heritage.
By why do Moroccans prefer tagine made meals to other dishes?
The answer of this question lies in the many health benefits of tagine cooking. In fact, cooking dishes in ceramic pots over charcoal and leaving them to simmer slowly in the vapor of their own juices avoids thermal shocks and thus preserves the nutritional qualities of the ingredients . Scientific experiments have proved that steam cooking is the optimum method for hygienic food preparation as this way of cooking produces harmonious interaction between all the ingredients - meat, vegetables and spices- and the latter not only keep their consistency but create great flavor and taste. This method also preserves the protein and vitamin content in meat.
People on diet can eat these dishes without worrying , as tajines are no longer cooked with oil as they were in the past . So that is why tagines are famous beyond our borders. Now a days people in Europe, America and Asia all know about tagine dishes. They are served at major celebrations across the world. The tajine is therefore the most important ambassador for Morocco around the globe, especially after having been updated by masters of traditional cuisine and given an artistic twist by turning it into a key element in the decorative arts.
Article written by Leila Ziraoui
HOW TO CURE A TAGINE?
It is necessary that it is seasoned before initial use. Please follow these simple instructions below for maximum results:
1. WATER: The new tagine needs to be first submerged in water for at least 1 hour. If you can’t submerge it, place it in a clean sink bowl and slowly fill the base of the tagine with water until it stops absorbing it. Place the tagine lid on top and fill it as well. Let stand for 30 minutes to allow full absorption of water into the clay. Empty excess water and set to dry for 5 minutes.