North African cuisineNorth African cuisine, particularly Moroccan cuisine, is varied, and famous as one of the world's finest. Maghreb countries, though arid, nevertheless have an agriculture yielding many varieties of vegetables and fruits. A broad range of meats is found, but most famous dishes are couscous (semolina of corn steamed together with meat and vegetables out of sauce) and the tajine (a ragout slow-cooked in a Dutch-oven-like vessel).
The characteristic flavors are derived from spices which form the essential base of the Maghreb regional cuisine: cumin, saffron, clove, and paprika. Skewers of meat, generally lamb marinated in fresh coriander, onions and spices, are called mechoui and are a familiar dish. Fish, of course have their place in this kitchen, frequently braised in tajines. Pastry-making is a Moroccan specialty, and all Maghreb enjoys the famous "gazelle horns," Turkish delight, and other confections, often sweetened with honey and based on dried fruit or almond paste.