Moroccan cuisine is very diverse, with many influences. The reason for this is centuries of interaction between Morocco and the outside world. The cuisine of Morocco is a mix of Arab, Berber, Moorish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, African and other influences. The cooks in the royal kitchens of Fes, Meknes, Marrakech, Rabat and Tetouan refined their best over the centuries and created the basis for what is known as Moroccan cuisine today. Moroccan food is one of the most cleverly balanced cuisines on earth. Spices are used to enhance the flavour of dishes and there is nothing like the warm waft of beautiful spices that seduce you when you open the lid of a tagine. The essence of Moroccan food is a communal style of eating, with many dishes shared by the family. The meal-time is very social and eaten at a leisurely pace with much laughter and talking. When entering a Moroccan home, you would be offered food and usually tea within a heartbeat. Hospitality is a very important part of Moroccan culture and making guests welcome is also part of Islamic teaching.