Couscous isn’t exactly a Gulf Coast tradition, but it is something that can easily be added to any cook’s repertoire. So what is this mysterious stuff?
Essentially its a pasta, but it masquerades well as rice. It’s amazingly fluffy, easy, and quick to repair. In terms of carbohydrates, it replaces rice.
So why add it? Unlike rice, which takes 10-20 minutes to cook, depending on variety, couscous is ready in 5 minutes or less. Unlike instant rice, couscous is actually fluffy rather than gummy. Couscous is actually a pre-cooked pasta with grains not unlike rice. By adding boiling water, the couscous begins cooking. After the 3-5 minute wait, the couscous is fluffed with a fork.
It makes it easier to get a meal on the table economically. It’s fast. It adds some variety and an element of the exotic with its name, without being “too weird.” The bland flavor goes with anything that would or could be served with rice, and face it…the Gulf Coast puts almost everything on rice!
For people who are campers, it’s perfect…just add boiling water and it’s cooking. It’s the same scenario for those of us who keep a “hurricane pantry” with easy to cook or no-cook foods in it, simple to prepare when utilities are down and everyone is busy with repairs and restoring normal life. It’s convenient for busy moms and hectic singles too. Even better yet, it’s not expensive!
So try some couscous yourself, and decide whether it warrants a space on your pantry shelf!