In this post, our good brother, Yassine, explains his Ramadan experience as a Moroccan now living in the United States. He talks about the different Ramadan foods and customs he enjoyed while living in Morocco, and what he has continued now in the United States.
His discussion of Ramadan customs includes the names of specific foods that Moroccans prepare during this month. We've included detailed descriptions of each of these and links to good recipes in the Vocabulary Review. Yassine also employs a lot of good conversational vocabulary.
We are looking forward to hearing from him again in the future, inshallah!
shabbakiyya, 7arira, l-rghayif, msemmon, l-sfouf - These are the names of specific foods, some of which are considered delicacies solely for the month of Ramadan:
- shabbakiyya is a pastry consisting of an interlaced portion of fried dough that is soaked in cinnamon and honey. They are often topped with sesame seeds. The word shabbakiyya means "net-like", and these are special for Ramadan in Morocco. Here is a recipe from the eminent Christine Benlafquih: https://www.thespruceeats.com/moroccan-sesame-cookies-with-honey-2394409
- 7arira is a tomato, chickpea and lentil soup that is traditionally served when Moroccan break their fasts at sunset, alongside shabbakiyya and dates. Outside of this ritual purpose, 7arira is a mainstay or Moroccan cuisine and is prepared year-round: https://www.thespruceeats.com/classic-moroccan-harira-soup-2394920
- Sfouf, sellou and zmita are all names for a uniquely Moroccan confection that is made during Ramadan season. Christine Benlafquih defines it as: "a rich, nutty confection of ground fried almonds, ground toasted unhulled sesame seeds,
and browned flour. Flavored with cinnamon and anise and sweetened with
honey or sugar, sellou might be presented as a powdery, decorated cone;
as a rounded, molded mound; or as compact bite-sized balls or squares." Read more here: https://tasteofmaroc.com/moroccan-sellou-recipe/
- rghayif or meloui and msemmon are two types of Moroccan flatbreads that are prepared year-round and enjoy prominent status at the Moroccan iftar table. Both are made using flour, semoline and yeast, along with other ingredients. The main difference between these is in the folding and shaping of the dough. Rghayif and meloui are circular and their dough is rolled up in the shaping process. Hence the name meloui, derived from the Arabic verb "to roll up." Msemmon is square shaped and its dough is laminated through a series of foldings. Here are recipes for both: https://www.thespruceeats.com/moroccan-meloui-pancake-rghaif-2394809 and https://www.thespruceeats.com/msemen-moroccan-pancakes-rghaif-2394812