The Medfouna Pizza or the Berber Pizza, whichever you wish to call it, is not pizza as you and me know it. But that does not make it any less delicious than the pizza as we know it. Maybe it becomes more appealing for its rustic origins in such a beautiful land.
The Berber Pizza is a Moroccan baked flat bread with a flavoursome stuffing. The filling is generally made of herbs, spices, diced onions and meat, mostly cow or lamb. Hard boiled egg and fried almonds are optional additions to this amazing dish. It’s actually more like a Calzone. I am sure you can relate better now.
‘Medfouna’ literally means ‘buried’. In ancient times, the burning coals would be doused in sand. The bread would then be lowered in this hot sand and covered till the bread cooked in the heat. Medfouna/Berber is essentially Morocco’s version of stuffed pizza, sans cheese. What’s pizza without cheese, you say, well, try the Berber and then let’s talk.
The general accompaniment of the Medfouna is piping hot mint tea. This mint tea acts as a palette balancer. It cuts and contrasts the flavor of the fat of the meat and pair very well with the Medfouna.
You can find the Berber pizza throughout the deserts of southeastern Morocco, but the Berber/Medfouna essentially originated in the land of Rissani. What’s most interesting about the Medfouna is that raw tender meat is used in the filling, that is, the meat is not cooked in any way before being stuffed into the bread. The Berber would easily take 4- to 50 minutes to cook properly, because the meat stuffed inside the bread has to cook completely and properly before it can be consumed.