Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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tagine meaning ‘stew’, is a category of dish fundamental to cookery in morocco. The same word appears in the name of the special earthenware cooking recipient (tagine slaoui) with a distinctive pointed cover in which it is cooked. The recipients, for everyday use, are made of thick earthenware, but there are also finer ones with elaborate glazing and decoration.

Tagine dishes, which are prepared by long simmering over an open fire or a bed of charcoal, may be savoury or savoury and sweet. The latter combination was very frequent in early arab cuisine and also common in medieval Europe (where it was an inheritance from the Arabs). Morocco is by no means the only place where it has survived to the present time, but is one of a few outstanding examples.