The rich spices of Moroccan cuisine linger on the tongue long beyond the end of any visit. To recreate those flavors in one’s own kitchen can prove a daunting task; however, the country’s signature dish — couscous — has become a worldwide favorite, meaning a taste of your trip can be found in a variety of restaurants or as a viable option for the everyday grocery shopper.
In Morocco, it is likely ordered as traditional seksu or kesksu with a meat or vegetable stew spooned on top. In Sicily, it is typically served with seafood. The grain is popular throughout West Africa, Sahel, France, Spain, the Canary Islands, Portugal, Madeira, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, areas of the Middle East and India, leaving infinite possibilities for creative couscous.
The origins of couscous remain up for debate. Some historians believe the granules made of semolina wheat began in China, much like pasta. Others favor the belief its origins trace back to East Africa. The most heavily favored — and the most plausible — explanation points to North Africa. Cooking tools used in the preparation of couscous and dating back to the ninth century were unearthed in this area of the world. The dish was disseminated to the entire region in the 11th century before making its way to Andalusia and the Mediterranean.
The first written reference to couscous was found in the anonymous 13th-century Hispan-Muslim cookbook Kitāb al-ţabīkh fī al-Maghrib wa’l-Andalus. A Marrakesh recipe for alcuzcuz fitīyānī is described as “made for the young” and “known all over the world.” While today prepared with delicious, aromatic meats, fishes, vegetables and spices, its humble beginnings were as food for the hungry nomad; cooked with sour milk and melted butter, it was a hearty dish that left diners full.
By the 16th century, references to the food were found in French writing. Portuguese immigrants from Morocco brought the cuisine to South America, and today couscous enjoys international acclaim and renown.
Not in dispute is the process of making the North African staple food. Couscous, a pasta, is comprised of husked and crushed, but unground, semolina flour. The semolina flour comes from the hardest part of durum wheat; its small pellets resemble farina, polenta or grits. The semolina is sprinkled with water and rolled into tiny granules. The intense process includes sprinkling the granules with flour and running them through sieves until all the semolina has been formed into couscous.
To recreate the tastes of your visit to Morocco in your own kitchen, the packaged versions from the grocery stores won’t suffice. Authentic couscous should be prepared in a couscoussiére or a heat-proof colander inside a stockpot. Steam with water until liquid is absorbed; do not cover, as condensation will make the pasta mushy.
A meal is never as amazing as that first bite, but with the popularity of couscous worldwide, a taste of Morocco is never out of reach.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Nice, France, with us.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
As a native of the Philadelphia region, I’m quite familiar with the drive in and out of the City of Brotherly Love. Even as the city’s skyline continually transforms, my favorite views of Philadelphia have always been along Boathouse Row, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art rising in the background, before looping around the museum to the flag-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Home to many of Philadelphia’s incredible and world-renowned museums, the Fairmount neighborhood is fittingly aesthetically pleasing and practically synonymous with fine art.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.