international dining etiquette
Dining etiquette in Morocco is similar to the rules of dining etiquette in other North Africa countries. Please see Egypt dining etiquette and Sudan dining etiquette and Chad dining etiquette for information about general North African dining etiquette. The dining etiquette information below presents Moroccan variations on general North African and Arab dining etiquette.
Dining etiquette for seating. Dining is traditionally done on a carpet or mat on the floor around a large communal plate.
Dining etiquette for eating from a communal bowl. Eat from the portion of the communal bowl or plate closest to you.
Dining etiquette for eating with your hands. Never put your hand into your mouth because you will use it again to touch the communal food.
Dining etiquette for eating couscous and tajine. Couscous is the local grain, and there are many local and national dishes, especially tajine (Moroccan stew). Usually, a mound of couscous is placed on a tray, an indentation is made in the center of the mound; and the tajine is placed in the center. You eat it with your right hand, and you can have a hot pepper dipping sauce on the side, if you like.
Dining etiquette for eating bones. If there are bones in the tajine, you will be expected to suck out the marrow: if you don't want to, don't take the bone.
Dining etiquette for drinking tea. When the tea is ready to be served, the teapot is held high in the air, so that as the tea is poured into the glass, a little ring of bubbles forms around the surface (the fez): this is proof of proper aeration. Tea is usually served in glasses, and mint stems are also usually left in the glass. As the guest of honor, you might be invited to prepare and pour the tea.
- Mike Lininger, Editor, Etiquette Scholar
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