Fluff my Couscous!
Marty Martindale

Couscous is made, not grown. It originally was a masterful piece of know-how when centuries ago North African women blended semolina flour with just the right amount of moisture and handling technique to create tiny, pasta-like granules. Couscous is a pasta, however it is used like a grain. It now cooks almost instantly.

Couscous is recorded as far back as the 13th century, and it is a staple today in North Africa, the Middle East, parts of Italy and Brazil. A few cultures make couscous from barley, millet or cornmeal. Today the production process has been mechanized, and a very acceptable version of instant is readily available.

Couscous is a healthy grain-based product with glycemic load lower than pasta. It also contains up to twice as many minerals than pasta and is richer in vitamins.

Ways to serve couscous:

The couscous in most Western supermarkets is instant, already pre-steamed and dried. Generally, use 1.5 measures of liquid to 1 measure of dry couscous (see package for exact directions.) Pour the boiling liquid, over the couscous, add a pat of butter, cover tightly for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.

Toss the warm couscous with your favorite herbs, seeds, cheeses, veggies, nuts or fruits. Serve warm or cooled.

Across the world different cultures tend to enjoy their couscous different ways:

  • In Africa they liked to use it with meats and vegetables and in stews.
  • Up around Turkey, they mixed it mostly with Harrissa, a hot condiment.
  • In Europe, they tended to sweeten it and enjoy it as a dessert.
  • In North America, where couscous is relatively new, we are tending to use it during the meal accented with savory items.

The Food Network has several couscous recipes.

Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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