Take a Culinary Tour of North Africa with Rebecca Plaza-Ponte, Buyer of All Things Moroccan

This month, Rebecca is rockin' the Moroccan as she capitalizes on a trend she forecasted years ago — the entrance of the tagine to the table. Celebrating the warm spice combinations and rich flavors of North Africa, she brings us two absolutely necessary Moroccan culinary ingredients — traditional Moroccan harissa and spicy sardines, as well as the omnipresent tagine. All aboard!

Large, 8-Cup, Hand-Painted, Traditional Tagines
An earthenware cooking and serving pot common in North Africa, the tagine offers even heating superior to a regular skillet. It also cooks foods super tender, designed with a conical shape top that returns moisture to the food below. And when your dish is done, you can serve it right from the beautiful pot. Plus, it's dishwasher safe and available in three gorgeous designs: Marbella, Barcelona or Valencia.

Mina Harissa
Mina Harissa is the year's culinary discovery by chefs across America, France and the United Kingdom, and has replaced its distant cousin, the American hot sauce. Appearing on classic and contemporary menus as the star condiment, it goes equally well with New Zealand lamb as it does with Southern barbecued chicken or a vegetable tagine with couscous.

Carefully blended using only six simple, all-natural ingredients: red chili pepper, red bell pepper, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar & salt, this traditional Moroccan red pepper sauce can be used as a sauce, dip or spread with meat, chicken, seafood, vegetable, egg or rice dish — it's that versatile and that good. Choose the spicy version to add kick to any dish. All natural, gluten free and vegan.

BELA-Olhão Sardines
Morocco is the world's largest exporter of sardines, so these silvery little fish are a street food staple that shouldn't be missed. They are often stuffed with a spicy chermoula paste, coated in a light batter and fried until crisp, but you can also find them served simply in hot sauce.

Rebecca likes our BELA-Olhão sardines, which are caught across the Mediterranean Sea by Portuguese fishers and packed fresh within hours for a far better flavor than most varieties. Plus, they are kosher, certified by the Orthodox Union (OU) and come in delicious eat-right-out-of-the-tin varieties, including sardines in: Hot Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Lemon Sauce, Olive Oil or Spring Water. Open a tin and let the party begin!