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Why You Should Try Offal at a Marrakech Restaurant

The foodie who is well versed in various cuisines will be no stranger to Offal. This is a scrumptious dish that contains the viscera and internal organs of a butchered animal. Any organ of the animal can be thrown into an Offal medley as long as it’s not bone or muscle. While some cultures see offal as taboo, others see it as a delicacy. 

Here in Marrakech and throughout Marrakech, the locals and travellers alike enjoy offal for its flavour and aroma. The meats that go into this hearty dish can vary depending on the time of year, but we recommend all foodies who visit Marrakech to taste Moroccan offal. 

It is both a rich and healthy dish.  

Moroccan Offal Variations and Profiles

The typical offal dish served at a Marrakech restaurant consists of kidneys, liver and heart cooked in traditional spices. We serve this variation here at our Le Trou Au Mur restaurant and is a popular choice considering the positive reviews it has garnered. 

Our chefs season offal with pepper, cumin, garlic, coriander, preserved lemon and parsley and serve the dish with dipping bread. Each organ meat adds a unique texture to the dish. The liver, for instance, adds tenderness while the heart adds richness to counter the softness of the liver and other meats. This isn’t the only way to prepare offal, however, and it’s not uncommon for it to be served in different variations. 

Variations of Moroccan Offal

  • Tihane or Stuffed Spleen – Spleen is not served as frequently as other organ meats such as liver or heart. Nevertheless, offal lovers can find a slice or two of the stuffed spleen,  otherwise known as Tihane here at Le Trou au Mur. 
  • Lamb brains – Lamb’s brain is typically served during the Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid al Adha). This variation contains marinated brains in chermoula cooked with or without tomato sauce. 
  • Calves or Lamb Trotters – Generally eaten at the time of Eid al Adha, calf or lamb trotters are served with chickpeas or wheat berries. It may also be served with white beans instead of chickpeas. Alternatively, raisins, sultanas, or figs can be added for a sweeter, stickier version.

The manner in which the meats are prepared can vary as well. For example, meats can be grilled (such as liver), slow-cooked (calf/lamb trotters) or prepared in a pan (spleen). 

Offal Does the Tastebuds and the Body Good…

Organ meats may very well join the ranks of cilantro – people either love or hate them. With that said, an argument can be made for both parties to either start or continue eating offal. Offal is a nutritional powerhouse full of proteins, vitamins and minerals. They were once consumed by many cultures around the world, but the practice of eating organ meats has generally declined. 

Nutrition Benefits of Offal 

  • An abundant source of iron – Organ meat contains heme iron, which is highly bioavailable and therefore, better absorbed by the body than non-heme iron from plant foods. 
  • Keeps you fuller for longer – Organ meats are rich in protein and research has shown that high-protein diets can reduce appetite and increase the sensation of fullness. 
  • Helps gain muscle mass – Since organ meats are a great source of high-quality protein, they can assist those who want to gain and retain muscle mass with resistance training. 
  • Great source of choline – Organ meat is one of the most abundant sources of choline, an essential nutrient that supports brain, muscle and liver health. 

Moroccan Offal – Not to be Ignored

Offal might not carry the same appeal as traditional meat dishes such as chicken tagine, mechoui and kefta. But the eclectic mix of soft and rich textures, along with its zesty seasonings make offal a must-try for all foodies visiting Marrakech. 

It can be a great meal for travellers who are familiar with Moroccan cuisine and want to explore some alternatives. It also doesn’t hurt that it can have significant nutritional value. We can say with utmost confidence that diners who eat a plate of offal will not be disappointed.