A Berber Breakfast Recipe

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There are several very unique groups of indigenous peoples throughout Morocco, each with a distinct language and customs. They are the Berber and dwell primarily in and along the Atlas mountains that run from the Mediterranean to the edge of the Sahara. They have been in Morocco since 'time out of mind'. While the following "recipe" may sound extreme, I would urge you to make a point of starting just one day with this menu. It is wholesome, clean, exciting to the palate and will give you a window on a very small part of an ancient way of life. Seek, as always, the finest examples of these ingredients. Savor the flavors that play against each other. It is Morocco to me.

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Ingredients

Cost per recipe $1.43 view details
  • Olive oil, the darker, the better: strong, thick & pungent
  • Honey, preferably one with alot of character, buckwheat or a wild Greek or eucalyptus, but definitely not a SueBee type in a squeeze bottle.
  • Bread - wheat, coarse, a soft-crusted, round, absorbent, single-rise bread like you might find in a Serbian deli. (Moroccan recipe to follow)
  • Sheep's cheese - feta, preferably not domestic unless you have access to an artisinal cheesemaker. Bulgarian or Greek is really good.
  • Olives - large, unpitted, green cracked or not; sometimes called Salamoia in Italian delis.

Directions

  1. Pour equal measures of the honey and olive oil onto a plate, allow them to get to know one another, to mingle in the middle.
  2. Cut the sheep's cheese into bite-sized chunks and into a dish.
  3. Put the oilves on the dish with the cheese.
  4. Cut the bread into squares.
  5. Dip a piece of bread into the middle of the oil/honey. Eat it.
  6. Eat a piece of cheese, and have an olive.
  7. Drink cold water or sweetened mint tea (green China tea, some fresh mint leaves and more sugar than you might normally use, and some fresh rose or orange blossom petals, if you have them)
  8. Savor the play of sweet, salty, olive and cheese, mint.
  9. You are now in central Morocco, in the Ourika Valley. Close your eyes. The impressions this breakfast will make on your palate will draw you back. Besides - its all good for you!

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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Recipe %DV
Recipe Size 105g
Calories 375  
Calories from Fat 214 57%
Total Fat 23.99g 30%
Saturated Fat 8.18g 33%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 622mg 26%
Potassium 77mg 2%
Total Carbs 32.21g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0.9g 3%
Sugars 13.76g 9%
Protein 9.24g 15%
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Comments

  • Amos Miller
    January 21, 2011
    I really like the buckwheat honey or, if you can find it, German forest honey. We're talking sort of 'axle grease' for the olive oil and the honey. These are all very robust flavors: sweet, salty, oily, acidic, hot, cool - these are flavors and textures with muscle and they will wrestle with each other for dominance on your palate. All you have to do is sit there and enjoy. This is also an extremely nourishing way to start a day. I await any reports and hope whoever trys this takes the time to make the Moroccan bread because it will be the gastronomic paintbrush of the meal. Enjoy!
    • John Spottiswood
      January 20, 2011
      Absolutely awesome recipe, Amos. I get what you are trying to create in terms of the authentic experience here. I'm going to try this some weekend when I am in no rush to get on with my day. Reminds me of when I lived in Japan and started each day with salty fish, rice, nori, miso soup, and tsukemono (salty pickles). At first I could hardly stomach it. When I returned two years later, I couldn't stomach cereal or oatmeal and all I wanted was a Japanese breakfast!

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