I thought that I had some experience with visiting Morocco, so I thought I understood the timing and serving of Moroccan dishes, but it’s nothing like living with someone that has only had these meal timings their whole life. They tend to find it difficult to adapt to America’s “anything goes” meals and meal times.
In fact, when someone has arrived a short time ago from another country, they start having cultural shock. And so they strive to have some since of normalcy in their own home. They can handle to strangeness of the outside world, but they just want to have home at home.
So when you come from a culture that has specific times to eat, and what to eat at those times, you can run into come timing difficulties, and some very lively conversations about those times and meals.
Tea is always served with breakfast if it’s with bread, oil, cheese or egg omelet.
Tea and round flat bread (khubz) is served with the traditional Tajine (something like stew) meal.
A Tajine isn’t supposed to be called “Tajine” unless it is made in a traditional Tajine pan. It is just a stew if made in a skillet or any other pan.
The tea must be served with a bunch of spearmint leaves to be considered Moroccan tea.
And a Moroccan coffee can be served with breakfast if it’s cookies (or hurried).
If it is the 5pm’ish Snack time, then coffee is served with cookies or pastries. The coffee should be served with milk and sugar.
Moroccan pancakes (beghrir) served for breakfast or tea, but not for dinner.
CousCous every Friday after prays around 2PM
The funny thing about the meals, was that everything should have saffron coloring (yellow) with it. The yellow coloring make the meal look appetizing to the Moroccan. White rice should not be white, it has to be yellow to be tasty or even tasted for that matter.
Many meals that were cooked at the beginning of our marriage looked very strange to him, because he wasn’t use to eating anything but Moroccan crusine. Many times ketchup was a cure-all for the taste buds of a very different culture.
One time, ketchup was poured on my very yummy Chicken Fettuccine dinner (I thought so), without first tasting it. As you can imagine, I was very upset from being the chef, and it was given “the ketchup cure-all” before it was even tasted. It was like saying I know I’m going to think your meal is tasteless before I even begin.
I understand why someone would be upset or disheartened by different foods. And how they would want something that is recognizable for dinner, but each person needs to understand each other in these circumstances and try their very hardest not to insult the other.
Please share your mealtime differences and disagreements, I can’t be the only one that has had this happen to them. Please share in the comments before, and let’s get through this hard times with laughter.