In every Moroccan Souk, store and home you will find this spicy condiment used as either a base for cooking, or as a garnish to add spice to your meal. Harrissa remains a staple in the Moroccan kitchen, much like Ketchup, Tabasco or Siracha is for many American homes. Though some key ingredients remain essential to every Harissa recipe, variances do exist setting some apart from the other. How is Villa Jerada’s recipe any different from what’s in the market today?
Well first, though this sauce remains prevalent in Morocco, its influence on this recipe shoots beyond the geography of the Moroccan landscape, past the vibrant street culture that inundates the senses to the center of where most people’s love of food begins.
Our childhood kitchen abundant with delicious smells and lots of love remain an enduring reference point that guides Villa Jerada on this journey of exploring and sharing the Moroccan food culture. To be honest the process of doing the latter through Harissa was no easy feat. It took us three years to get to the production point. The Harissa voyage began first from the request by our customer base and the realization of Harrisa’s market demand, which naturally turned our distribution itch to finding a reliable Moroccan source. That arduous quest kept leading us to dead ends either because of lack of consistency or quality issues. We then cautiously switched to trying to produce the product locally.
Feelings of hesitation when reflected upon have a way of bringing out the best in us. An idea that seemed so far out of reach suddenly felt so close because we realized that in the whole process of trying to track down an exceptional Moroccan Harissa, we forgot the key ingredient of why it was so important to our company in the first place. It was important because of the recipe that accompanied the table of childhood memories.
We believe that we have accomplished with this recipe a perfect " Glocal" marriage blending superior ingredients from distinct corners of the globe. Villa Jerada’s harissa stands out amongst other brands because of its unique flavor as well as because of its quality. Unfortunately, most brands on the shelf are using vegetable oil instead of olive oil, a lot of water and salt. On the contrary ours has almost a half preserved lemon per jar, a fair amount of fresh harvest certified organic extra virgin Moroccan olive oil. In fact, you can tell just by the color. The peppers we use are so red and blackened yet the final result is a beautiful orange brick harissa due to the amount of green olive oil and preserved lemons added.
Finally, there remains a huge difference between what is made for big commercial stores versus what is made in-house or distributed through fancy food stores. What Villa Jerada has done with this Moroccan harissa is bottle up our Mamma’s Moroccan Harissa and shared that with the consumer by putting it in a jar.
Ingredients (6oz): dried chiles, cumin, coriander, caraway, organic olive oil, vinegar, preserved lemons, mint, garlic, tomato paste, water, salt.