Innovate Blog
Cuisines from around the world – The unique and exciting flavours from North Africa

Monday December 24, 2018

In their latest trend reports Whole Foods and Pinterest have acknowledged the rise in popularity of North African dishes – specifically dishes from Morocco. Both say that they expect North African ingredients like harissa, coriander and cardamom to become mainstream flavours in 2019. Many of us are familiar with the traditional hummus and falafel dishes, but you can expect to see more interesting dishes, like tagine and Moroccan cous-cous, take centre stage.

A recent article in the Telegraph says that this newfound appreciation for the North African cuisine is born from diners looking to expand their palates. In the article chef Mohamed Diagne says: “People get tired of eating the same thing all the time – Thai, Indian, Italian, etc. They’re after something different that offers them exciting flavours, which is exactly what North African cuisine does.”

Some of the most popular North African foods include:

  • Mechoui – whole roast lamb
  • M’semen – Moroccon flat bread
  • Merguez – spicy mutton sausage
  • Freekeh – roasted green durum wheat
  • Khobz mbesses – cake made with semolina
  • Muhallebi – milk pudding

One particular North African dish that is expected to become extremely popular in 2019 is tagine. The tagine is a traditional Moroccan dish, named after the fluted clay pot it is cooked in. The pot braises the diverse contents of the dish and locks in the robust flavours from each sizzling spice.

Tagine is often accompanied by cous-cous, steamed rice, or fresh, hot bread, and the varieties are virtually limitless – from seafood tagines with mussels and tomato sauce, to lamb tagines with vegetables such as onions, carrots, potatoes, and olives, fruits such as apricots and raisins, and lots of spices such as red and black pepper, cumin, saffron, and turmeric, tagines are a national dish full of creativity and flavour.

African spices such as harissa and cooking methods such as tagines, are now being featured on restaurant menus across the UK. Curious and adventurous diners are embracing the bold flavours of Northern African cuisine.

If you are looking to try Tagine, we recommend these places: Momo (Heddon Street, London), taNgia (Tooting Broadway, London), Sidi Maarouf (Edgware Road, London) and Moroccan Sahara (Hereford Road, London).

Alongside the rising number of restaurants now serving authentic North African dishes like tagine, there has also been an increasing demand for street food stands serving the dishes. A recent survey completed by market research firm Mintel revealed that 54 per cent of consumers want to see more North African street food on offer in 2019.

Whether tagine is being served for customers to enjoy on-the-go or in a street food environment then leakproof food packaging is an absolute must. At Bunzl Catering Supplies we have a wide variety of food packaging options to suit your needs.

One packaging solution that is ideal for serving tagine is COOKIPACK from our supplier Sharpak. COOKIPACK is a lightweight plastic container that is microwavable, oven safe, leak-proof and offers excellent visibility. COOKIPACK is available in five sizes (400ml, 600ml, 800ml, 1000ml and 1250ml).

Another great option is SmartServ containers from our supplier Fold-Pack. With a rounded base, square top, and unique latching system, SmartServ carry-out containers are one of a kind. The cup-like structure can be used for many different foods – it’s functional, made from sustainable natural resources and cost effective too. SmartServ is available in white, in 3 sizes; 16oz, 26oz and 32oz, and can be custom printed with your own logo and design.

To find out more about our food packaging options that are suitable for serving tagine, please take a look at our food packaging e-brochure or contact Bunzl Catering Supplies today.

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