Cooking classes are becoming an increasingly popular tourist activity in Morocco. Moroccan cuisine has a rich and varied history - showing traces of Berber, Andalusian, Turkish, Middle Eastern and (most recently) French influence - and is not only healthy and delicious, but relatively simple to prepare once you've been shown the ropes. Moroccan cooking classes are mainly offered in the popular tourist areas of Marrakech, Fez and Essaouira and usually also involve an overnight stay in a riad (a traditional Moroccan home with an interior courtyard). A typical half-day cooking course will involve a trip to the local market to buy fresh ingredients, and then a demonstration of how to prepare a couscous and tagine dish. Cooking in a tagine - an earthenware dish with a conical lid - is a slow affair, but with the right balance of spices added to the mix, the results can be heavenly. Taking a cooking course in Morocco is a great way to return home with a unique skill that you didn't have when you left in the first place, and being able to cook traditional Moroccan meals is a great way to impress friends as the cuisine is becoming increasingly popular but it not yet common fare in many countries.