Moroccan Garden Dinner Party
On September 8th, Sunday afternoon, a Moroccan Garden Dinner party was celebrated at Patricia and Walt Joyce's home in Los Altos.
Chef Jay, the executive chef and owner of Morocco's Restaurant in Mountain View presented a broad selection of Moroccan dishes that exemplify the ingredients, spices, and other flavorings from the Moroccan cuisine.
We selected four varietals from France, Germany, Oregon, and California that paired extremely well with the various dishes. Much fun was had trying to determine for ourselves how the pairings blended with the various dishes. This proved to be a very educational, interesting and fun evening and was a great opportunity to bring potential new members and expose them to the quality of our events and camaraderie of our membership.
A Few Words About the Exciting Flavors of Moroccan Food
Moroccan cuisine is considered one of the most important cuisines in the world. One of the reasons for its importance is its remarkable diversity of influences. In Moroccan dishes, one can trace the country's long history of colonizers and immigrants who have left their mark in more than one way. The cuisine of the first inhabitants, the Berbers, still exists today in the staple dishes like tagine and couscous. The Arab invasion brought new spices, nuts and dried fruits, and the sweet and sour combinations that we see in dishes like tagine with dates and lamb. The Moors introduced olives, olive juice and citrus while the Jewish-Moors left behind their sophisticated preserving techniques that we see in the frequent use of preserved lemons, pickles, etc. The Ottoman Empire introduced barbeque (kebabs) to Moroccan cuisine. The French colony, although short-lived compared to reign of some of these other empires, left behind a culture of cafes, pastries, and even wine. Over time, cooks in the kitchens of the four royal cities (Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes, and Rabat) have developed and perfected the dishes that blend each of these distinct tastes. Every Moroccan dish has its place in society and varies with the market, the season, and the region.