Get the whole story on Serious Eats.
One of the best things about living in a strange place for a long time is getting to know not only its dominant, namesake cuisine, but all the other little cuisines that make up the culinary mosaic of the neighborhood. New York is the perfect example of this. What is New York cuisine? An old, terrific, dark-wood steakhouse, maybe. But that is hardly representative of New York. Instead, I grew up on great plates of Italian pasta, broccoli in black bean sauce from the Chinese takeout, and avocado rolls from my neighborhood sushi place. In London, I have discovered great Bangladeshi food. And in France, historical conquests and waves of immigration have brought us my personal favorite, Moroccan.
Moroccan is my personal favorite because my Mémé, my grandmother, was born in Casablanca and moved to France as a teenager. What I love about France and Morocco is the two-way street that seems to arch like a great bridge over Spain. Mémé already spoke French, and was used to French fashions and customs, when she arrived in Europe, because they were so prevalent in Morocco. And when I am in France, I find that Moroccan cuisine, like Mémé, must have booked a one-way ticket to Paris, because it is everywhere, from the merguez-frites stands, Paris’s answer to New York’s hot dog-on-the-go, to refined establishment couscous houses.