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North African food


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Arthur,

Your old pal Mr. Cutlets writing in. Hi! My question -- Do you like the food of North Africa, esp. Morroco, Algeria, and Tunisia? What do they do best when it comes to meat? And is there someplace in the Enn Why See where I can taste a passable version?

Also, I have ordered your new book from Amazon and am eagerly awaiting it.

Wishing you the best in wielding both pen and fork,

your humble servant,

Mr. Cutlets

Mr-Cutlets.com: your source for advice, excerpts, Cutlets news, and links to buy Meat Me in Manhattan: A Carnivore's Guide to New York!
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Arthur,

Your old pal Mr. Cutlets writing in.  Hi! My question -- Do you like the food of North Africa, esp. Morroco, Algeria, and Tunisia?  What do they do best when it comes to meat?  And is there someplace in the Enn Why See where I can taste a passable version?

Also, I have ordered your new book from Amazon and am eagerly awaiting it.

Wishing you the best in wielding both pen and fork,

your humble servant,

Mr. Cutlets

Dear Cutlets,

Don't bust my chops (couldn't resist). I love Moroccan food. I have been to Morocco several times and, as you might imagine, there's a lot more to it than preserved lemons. To your particular interest, Mr. Cutlets, the best skewers of meat I have ever eaten -- although I have yet to get to Gaziantep (sp?), the shish capitol of Turkey (I was on my way once, but got distracted by mosaics in Antioch) -- were in Morocco, on the street, made of lamb that was just hanging out in the shade, being brushed of flies, a bit of onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Somehow, I have never been able to reproduce that taste, simple as it is. Never got sick either.

The big meat number if Morocco, howver, is mishwee (again, I can't spell and I am too lazy to get up and look it up -- I mean this isn't REAL publishing). One of my memorable meals was a private dinner we paid for in a private home -- the progression of dishes, including you name it, ended with a half roasted lamb rubbed with spices and herbs, cooked for hours, basted with butter. We ate with our fingers. We reclined on divans.

For some reason, there have been very few Moroccan restaurants in New York. We have lots of American chefs who use what they fancy is Moroccan spicing, but it's not real Moroccan food. The whole couscous experience has never been marketed properly in New York. The onlyplace I have been to where you could get all these things -- and it is now out of business -- was Lotfi on W. 46th St. Not as a walk-in diner, either. You had to order your feast ahead.

If someone knows of a good Moroccan restaurant, please tell us all.

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