The votes have been cast, the ballots tabulated, and the results are in: Israeli couscous—the lightly-toasted, round pasta with a mild taste and springy texture—was the all-time favorite Middle Eastern ingredient from the Roland Food’s 2017 catalog, with more customers ordering it than any other.
Also known as “ptitim” or “pearl couscous,” the ingredient is a fantastic base for cold salads or warm side dishes to accompany roasted fish or lamb. It’s enjoyed a huge following since 2015, when it won a blind taste test of Israeli couscouses by Cook’s Illustrated, a culinary magazine known for its rigor and borderline-obsessive testing.
Our favorite couscous had a ‘rich and nutty flavor’ that was ‘clean’ and ‘very appealing.’Cook’s Illustrated
“Our favorite couscous had a ‘rich and nutty flavor’ that was ‘clean’ and ‘very appealing,’” the magazine raved in its assessment. “It was ‘chewy but tender,’ with ‘big round pieces,’ and was ‘a little starchier than others’ but ‘firm and bouncy.’ In salad, it had ‘the great nutty flavor I expect from Israeli couscous,’ summed up one taster.” Cook’s Illustrated also concluded that trace amounts of sugar—just 1 gram per serving—may have given it a leg-up over its rivals in the flavor department.
Clearly our customers know a good thing when they taste it.