Couscous

May 24th, 2017, 04:35 AM
  #1  
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Couscous

Hello

It is today the third time I take US friends to eat a couscous who had never eaten a couscous.
They - up to now - all like it

So in case you are like my friends unaware of this great North-African specialty, widely eaten in Paris (and France), here is a link to what it is :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couscous

Here a few addresses in Paris where I had a decent couscous :
Jaafar Sommerard Cluny
Marrakech Rue Amaillé 8e Etoile ?
Omar (chez) Bretagne, 47 4e temple
Petit bleu Muller 18e

For me the best one was at le Petit Bleu, but even for an European, I found the service ... rude !
Chez Omar is well known, in a nice brasserie style art nouveau. Couscous is excellent.
Marrakech is 'higher' style, and more expensive. Better seated.
If you know couscous, forgive me and go read another post !
Enjoy your meal.
WoinParis is offline  
May 24th, 2017, 05:20 AM
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Thanks for this. We will be there soon. Which is the best on a low budget?
rs899 is offline  
May 24th, 2017, 05:22 AM
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petit bleu. At the foot of the stairs of Sacré Coeur.
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May 24th, 2017, 05:30 AM
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Ate couscous in Sicily. Found it disappointingly bland. Ate couscous in Morocco. Not much better and quickly became boring. Ate couscous in Moroccan restaurant in US. Same. So much else to eat in Paris.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 24th, 2017, 05:38 AM
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Couscous on it's own is bland since it is a type of pasta. It is the stew or other topping which adds the flavour to it. Using a flavoured stock for the couscous also helps, especially if you want to use the couscous in a salad.

I have never eaten it in a restaurant but use it to accompany tagines and vegetable dishes a lot.I have never tried it as a desert. I shall have to give that a go sometime.
hetismij2 is offline  
May 24th, 2017, 05:47 AM
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I much prefer my grandmother's goulash. . . almost except for the semolina, the same ingredients. However, harrisa!!!!
That's the best heat there is.
Envierges is online now  
May 24th, 2017, 07:34 AM
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I was considering a Polenta holiday but now....
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May 24th, 2017, 07:55 AM
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Couscous is very widely known and eaten in the Northeastern US. I used to buy it at the supermarket when I lived there, now almost 20 years ago. I would imagine that it's well known also on the west coast, but maybe not in the vast hinterlands.

Actually, though, I'm pretty sure I've seen it at my daughter's supermarket in Indiana. Maybe it's just chance that you met three Americans who didn't know about couscous.
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May 24th, 2017, 08:00 AM
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When as a child in the vast hinterlands, I ate couscous, it was called Cream of Wheat or was just plain grits served with greens, of course. The wheat thingie isn't the deal. It's the stew that's put on top of it.
Envierges is online now  
May 24th, 2017, 08:18 AM
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Couscous is recognized in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Swiss Romandy and Italy (perhaps Spain as well) as a stew dish of which the semolina is an important but relatively minor ingredient.

Most other countries only think of the semolina, which I will admit is the technical translation of the Maghrebi word 'couscous.'

I absolutely cannot imagine why people in the other countries actually eat the semolina all by itself and think that it is some kind of food. It's about the same as saying "I fixed sesame seeds for dinner."

Here is a couscous that I made at home recently, and you can see that the semolina is not the most important item:
http://i450.photobucket.com/albums/q...mouton%203.jpg
kerouac is online now  
May 24th, 2017, 08:23 AM
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WoinParis, tip:

Chez René et Gabin on Boulevard de Belleville: Jewish-Tunisian cuisine. A real institution. Never fails to please.
menachem is offline  
May 24th, 2017, 08:23 AM
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In Australia we would have it as side dish much as you might use rice wth a curry.
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May 24th, 2017, 08:24 AM
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thursdaysd; ??? we must not be eating the same couscous
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May 24th, 2017, 08:32 AM
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It should be mentioned that couscous (the stew dammit!) is the second most popular dish in France (after magret de canard and there would probably be riots if it did not appear regularly on school and company canteen menus or at the local café.

France without couscous would be like the United States without pizza.
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May 24th, 2017, 08:44 AM
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We love couscous. I don't know anyone who just eats it plain. It's always accompanied by a fragrant stew of some kind. I've had it in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and all over France, and yes, Chez René et Gabin does it wonderfully.
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May 24th, 2017, 08:48 AM
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How would you rate l'Atlas in the 5th?
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May 24th, 2017, 09:21 AM
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I love the Shakshuka at Chez René etc too
menachem is offline  
May 24th, 2017, 09:28 AM
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Lol. I really wondered about the devil you were going on about until I got to the dish explanation.

Couscous (the semolina) is my parent's new favorite "ethnic" food. Don't ask me why. Mom will actually eat it plain! I like it with stew over it, it soaks up flavor well, but I don't get it as a side dish which is how it's served out here a lot.
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May 27th, 2017, 09:40 AM
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My French in-laws (ex) loved to make tabbouleh - which she said was made of cous-cous but not cooked but saoked in olive oil, fresh tomatoes and mint. Good on a hot day.
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May 27th, 2017, 09:47 AM
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Be careful of the use of cous cous. In some cultures it gets the same reaction from Brits when Americans mention a fanny pack.
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