Even if you live in a place that’s not the ethnic-food capital of the world or don’t have a Middle Eastern market around, you can easily shop several varieties of bulk couscous here and we’ll deliver it to your doorstep. This semolina pasta is used as a grain for so many dishes, and can be served alongside meats, fish, poultry, and really so many dishes. Buying couscous in large quantities is a great idea for restaurants, but also for those who like to have this delicious ingredient around – couscous has a long shelf life and keeps for around a year.
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Couscous used to be a rare dish in America, but for years now this tiny semolina pasta is a staple in our kitchens, used much more like a grain than like a pasta. Mellow, buttery and delicious, couscous cooks to fully perfection, and takes on flavors wonderfully. You can serve it simply with butter and lemon, or toss in toasted nuts, garlic, raisins, all manner of seeds, there are really so many combinations for couscous. What is couscous, really? It’s a durum wheat semolina flour pasta, shaped into small granules. It’s a dish that’s typically served in North African and Moroccan cuisine, where the neutral flavor makes it the perfect partner for the super spiced and seasoned braises and stews that are so characteristic of those cuisines. The tiny pasta soaks up all the flavors of those sauces beautifully.
You’ll see couscous served as a side most of the time, but it can also be a satisfying whole meal in and of itself. Fluff and pair with roasted vegetables and nuts for a super healthy cold salad or serve it as a risotto. Couscous has the added advantage that it cooks super fast – really, it just requires you to boil water and fluff – so it makes for an easy and filling meal in no time.
There are several types of couscous, the most common type being Moroccan. This is the smaller, fast-cooking of couscous we are more accustomed to. Israeli couscous, also called pearl couscous, is a much larger variety, and more resembling to actually small format pasta. Texture wise, it boasts much more chewiness, and it takes about double the time to cook (pearl couscous takes about 10 minutes to cook). Couscous is usually hand-rolled, a hard to master skill. Although many people compare quinoa to couscous, couscous is not gluten free (to answer that common question that health-minded foodies have – is couscous gluten-free? It’s not, since it’s wheat-based pasta).