Today, we see many varieties of couscous on the market. Just as there are many types of rice, there are also different categories of couscous for curious cooks to explore. If it is not already a part of your regular diet, couscous is a great alternative to the typical starch rotation and deserves a place in your pantry for quick, filling dishes.
There is a lot of information online that explains what couscous is and the different kinds of couscous in the market. Some put it in the grouping of simple pastas. Others insist it belongs to a category of its own. Whether you’ve come across couscous as tiny pasta,” “grain-like pasta,” “granular starch,” “an elegantly simple pasta”, “processed wheat”, “a traditional North African pasta,” “grain product,” “a semolina-based cousin to pasta” and “a man-made product similar to pasta” – there is a little bit of truth to each and every one of them.
To simplify things, couscous refers to the (typically semolina) grain product we’ve been discussing in previous posts on our blog. What we find in most grocery stores in the United States is typically instant, precooked or quick-cooking, meaning that it has been steamed and dried, and it only needs to be reconstituted with boiling water before consumption. Otherwise, it is typically steamed — often repeatedly — until light and fluffy. You may also see whole-wheat couscous on store shelves, which has a nuttier flavor.
This is where the real differences begin. Martino couscous is in a category of its own as it is different from what we know as Israeli couscous or the other popular variety of pearl couscous. Originally called p’titim (also written ptitim) — which translates to “flakes” or “little crumbles” in Hebrew — Israeli couscous is not actually couscous, but rather extruded pasta that has been toasted.
Pearl couscous is technically a larger version of Moroccan couscous, though it’s sometimes erroneously used synonymously with Israeli couscous. Roughly the size of a pea, pearl couscous is even larger than Israeli couscous. Throughout the world, it’s also known as Mograbia (also spelled Mograbiah or Moghrabieh), maftoul (often made with bulgur wheat) and Lebanese couscous.
The different types of Martino couscous
Martino Couscous is the first Italian couscous producer with a century of traditions in the manufacture and preparation of authentic Italian couscous. Martino products are produced exclusively with 100% durum wheat semolina, a key feature for a high-quality standard.
Over one hundred years of experience in the management of products derived from wheat have allowed Martino to select a mix of hard semolina grains and to build a production process that starts from the best Italian grains and allows for an eco-sustainable and quality Couscous.
Throughout the journey of the Martino brand, we have come to embrace couscous’ versatility and experiment with new couscous products for our growing customer base. From gluten-free couscous made from corn, chickpeas or lentils to flavoured couscous and wholemeal couscous – Martino carries a wide range of couscous products with multiple nutritional benefits.
Martino’s Premium, Organic, Al Naturale, Flavoured, Ho.Re.Ca, Private Label and Kids couscous lines help you discover the typical flavours of Italian cuisine. Created for a quick and complete meal, Martino’s couscous allows a wide choice of taste that can bring everyone together. Easily re-hydrated and rich in essential minerals and nutrients, it is possible to prepare a healthy and genuine dish in just 10 minutes without having to add anything but a little water.
There are several tell-tale signs of quality couscous. Colour, flavour and texture are the 3 quality signs of good couscous. Because couscous is made from semolina, how it looks and feels after rehydration is a testament to the quality of the wheat that was used in making it. Martino works hard every day to improve the quality of our products by using our know-how and unique expertise in the couscous and pasta sector. This know-how is the result of many years of experience in this field and a culture of excellence at all levels of the company.
Ultimately, Martino’s couscous stands out with its high quality thanks to a unique process of making it using bio-certified products and clean Maltese water.
Martino has long been committed to re-inventing a beloved food in a way that is quintessentially Italian for promoting wellness, health and longevity.
Visit our blog to learn more about the ways couscous can refresh your body, mind and soul.