The basis of nutrition in North-Africa, Mauritania, and parts of the Middle-East, couscous has also become a favorite in Western Europe, especially France in the past few decades.
Here are 5 things you might not know about couscous:
Couscous is the French's third favorite dish. That's according to two surveys made in 2011 and 2013. (Source)
The name comes from Berber languages. In Kabylian, a language spoken majoritarily in Algeria, the word "imkeskes" means "well formed" or "well rounded". (Source)
Couscous is not a grain!
There's no "couscous plant"... It's actually more like paste: a mixture of flours and water. The traditional way of preparing couscous is by steaming it in a special pot called "couscoussier". Boiling it is considered a bit of heresy!
- It's not a side, it's the centerpiece!
In North Africa, at the dinner table on Friday evenings, the entire family gathers around a big plate of couscous with sides of vegetables and meats.
- Couscous is quite healthy. One cup of cooked couscous has 176 calories, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. It’s fat-free, contains no cholesterol, and about 66% of the recommended daily dose of selenium, which is an important anti-oxidant. And when you factor in the fiber and vitamins from the veggies, and the added protein from the meats, you got yourself a really well-rounded meal that will keep you going for hours! (Source)