National Couscous Day is celebrated on August 5 annually. This day marks the existence of this fluffy, delicious, and versatile grain that originated in North Africa. Couscous is easy and quick to prepare; it tastes delicious when combined with herbs, spices, legumes, and vegetables. Couscous can be eaten plain or mixed with either salads or brothy stews. It also pairs nicely with roasted meat or vegetables and stir-fries. It’s low in calories and a good source of fiber, protein, and the antioxidant ‘selenium.’ It’s a day for everyone to share their love for couscous and encourage new people to try it and love it too!
History of National Couscous Day
The exact date couscous originated is unknown as no one has much evidence. Since couscous is a product made from ground wheat, its existence any earlier than 6000 B.C. is unlikely. There are many theories about the origin of couscous. One theory states that couscous spread to the Middle East from North Africa. In another, Muslims and Sephardic Jews who were forced out of Spain in the 15th century by Christianity possibly took couscous with them to the Middle East.
Couscous first appeared in Moorish Spanish cookbooks in the 13th century. Couscous is common in North Africa for dietary and cultural reasons. It is similar to rice, pasta, or bread since it’s an inexpensive and highly nutritious product made from wheat or other cereals (sorghum, barley, corn, millet, or grains) that can be preserved long-term.
Couscous is very easy to cook. It can be eaten daily or served as the main course or dessert of a luxury feast using a basic cooking system. Couscous is also very versatile as it pairs with almost everything — vegetables, legumes, meat, fish, butter, or fresh fruit. Couscous also expresses ethnicities and cultures and has religious meanings. In Africa, women usually prepare couscous during family feasts; therefore, the dish’s associated with solidarity. Also, couscous accompanies Friday and end-of-Ramadan celebrations and is present at birth and wedding feasts.
National Couscous Day timeline
Couscous appears in Moorish Spanish cookbooks.
In his essay “Couscous And Its Cousins,” food historian Charles Perry writes that couscous originated among the Berbers of Northern Algeria and Morocco.
Jews and Muslims chased out of Spain take couscous to the Middle East.
The Branded Food Group (B.F.G.) Limited creates National Couscous Day to raise awareness about couscous as a tasty, versatile, and healthier alternative to rice, pasta, and noodles.
National Couscous Day FAQs
Which is healthier, couscous or quinoa?
Quinoa has complete proteins, fiber, and plenty of micronutrients; overall, it is healthier than couscous.
Can vegetarians eat couscous?
Yes, it is suitable for vegans. However, not all couscous dishes in restaurants are vegan-friendly.
Can couscous be eaten cold?
Absolutely! Couscous can be eaten hot or cold and is a staple food in North Africa.
National Couscous Day Activities
Eating couscous is the best way to celebrate this day. Interestingly, both the product and dish are named couscous.
Go to a restaurant and eat couscous
Another option is to eat out at a restaurant. Many places have couscous dishes on their menu.
Try a new recipe
If you eat couscous regularly, you can try a new recipe. Go for the best couscous recipe on the internet!
5 Benefits Of Eating Couscous
A source of selenium
Couscous contains many vitamins and minerals, such as immune-supportive selenium.
A plant-based protein
Although couscous is not entirely a protein, it is a good source of protein, especially for plant-based diets.
It contains lots of fiber
Couscous is a source of fiber, which boosts digestive health and alleviates constipation.
An alternative to white rice
Couscous provides more proteins, vitamins, and minerals than white rice.
Healthy fast food
Couscous is quick and easy to prepare.
Why We Love National Couscous Day
It is healthy
Couscous is a healthy product. It can prevent blood sugar spikes, lower cholesterol, and keep you fuller for longer.
It is inexpensive
Couscous is extremely cheap. Additionally, it is readily available in almost every grocery or supermarket.
It is versatile
Couscous can be eaten alone or with meat, fish, or chicken. You can also prepare it with vegetables and fruits.
National Couscous Day dates