After a big meal, Moroccans usually eat fruit for dessert. This does not mean that sweets don’t exist, however. Moroccans have quite a sweet tooth and they don’t hesitate to snack on heavy cream-filled pastries between meals. Pastries also play an important role in Moroccan society because they are an essential complement to mint tea when welcoming guests into your home. Many Moroccan pastries, such as cornes de gazelle and briouates have an almond paste filling. Some pastries only appear in stores during big religious holidays like Ramadan and the ‘Aid. One of the most popular Ramadan desserts is shibekkya, which is fried in oil and then coated in honey, which makes a sweet and gooey accompaniment to harira.
Moroccan Mint Tea, or what Moroccans will jokingly call “Moroccan whiskey”, is the national icon for hospitality. The ingredients are simple, since the tea used is a standard Chinese gunpowder tea. However, the preparation and service are fine-tuned and essential when welcoming a guest. Just like many Asian countries, Morocco has a tea ceremony of its own. People drink tea informally all day in between meals. But any time a visitor enters a house, the first thing that he or she must be offered is tea. When members of two different tribes meet to discuss issues of the region or politics, a tea ceremony is required before getting into politics. Mint tea is traditionally served in small glasses, although some tea shops will serve it to you in tall glasses with the mint inside. When it is served, the person pouring the tea holds the teapot high above the glasses so as to create a little foam in each person’s glass. See Lahcen’s recipe for a Moroccan mint tea recipe. Moroccans tend to like their tea extremely sweet, but you may choose to use less sugar in yours.
Some Moroccans joke that unemployment is so high that you find more men in cafes than in the work field. Cafes are mostly for men only, but in bigger cities, you can find some exceptions to this rule. Black coffee or qahwa kahla is taken Turkish-style in Morocco. But people also take their coffee with milk in varying proportions. Qahwa meherris (trans: broken coffee) is coffee with a dab of milk. The opposite is helib meherris (trans: broken milk): milk with a dab of coffee. In between these two are qahwa nus-nus: half coffee, half milk; and of course, café au lait (qahwa helib) .
Although Islam forbids drinking alcohol, you will still see many Moroccans (almost exclusively men) in bars and buying alcohol in the grocery stores. The French introduced wine making to the country and there is still a significant industry. The most prominent winery in Morocco is the Celiers de Meknes, which produces a range in qualities, some of them quite tasty. The cheapest wine costs around 30 DH. You can get a nice bottle of red for 50 DH and above. Recommended are Guerrouane, Domain Sahari Reserves, Beauvallon and Medaillon (arguably the best label in Morocco).