Hi, after reading your response, I'd suggest checking Whole Foods or Wild Oats if those stores are convenient. Yesterday I saw a bin of Mediterranean couscous in the bulk foods section of our local WF - the couscous was larger than the regular couscous in the next bin. Of course, there are on line sources as well. Here's one: Israeli Couscous 8.8 oz. Note that the package says Israeli couscous and Mediterranean couscous.
actually israeli cous cous is a processed item that is basically pasta in a micro ball shape - (think orzo looking like rice)
bulgur on the otherhand is not processed as much and is more of a whole wheat product. You don't really boil regular cous cous, you steam it, but with orzo you can boil it like pasta. Personally I am not thrilled with the taste/texture of I.C. but when you cook it risotto style it has more flavor possibilities. and the shape holds well.
When you cook up israeli cous cous the method is similar to pasta but tastes better if you cook it in chicken stock or cook with a risotto type method. It works well for both hot and cold applications and is very trendy at the moment. Check out the post about it recently on catersource
We don't have a Wild Foods anywhere in the area, Shel. And neither Wild Oats nor the Good Foods Coop carry Israeli (or Mediterranean) cous cous. I'll check out that on-line source, though.
It's kind of amusing how things get named, though. I guess they think North Africa--which uses more cous cous than the entire Mid-east--isn't Mediteranean. :confused:
"actually israeli cous cous is a processed item that is basically pasta in a micro ball shape - (think orzo looking like rice)"
As I said, Tigerwoman, size is the only real difference. All cous cous is processed that way, and is, essentially, a fast-cooking pasta. In North Africa, especially Morraco, it's steamed in special vessels above a tagine.
"bulgur on the otherhand is not processed as much and is more of a whole wheat product."
I wasn't aware that bulgur was processed at all. Basically it is cracked wheat, is all. It comes in different grades, (i.e., #1, #2), which refer to how finely they've been ground.
Both cous cous and bulgur can be steamed, or be cooked as part of another dish. A simple method is to pour boiling water over them, cover, and let sit about 15 minutes. They'll puff up just fine. For a real taste treat, try using coffee as the liquid when making cous cous.
Orzo, on the other hand, has to be boiled like any other pasta, as you point out.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
My local grocer used to carry Israeli Couscous but stopped. I found it this past weekend though at a middle-eastern grocer. Check for some specialty grocers in your area, or in a bigger city in your area for the next time you visit.
Thanks, I use it a lot, love it, love it! The coffee idea sounds attractive, also thinking about tea?
Both of those ideas above sound nice sound good.
Sysco used to have Israli Couscous, I checked their product list online after reading your query, I see it is not there. Glad I checked, will look for some before I head back to work.
I sometime do the Israeli like a pilaf, with mint, lemon, pine nuts--sort of tabouli flavors. Have also used that method with capers, lemon, olives, garlic and??
I often design things as I go, once I have more or less pointed my self toward the flavors I want.
Gosh, do you do that and then forget to make notes?? Urrggggghhhhh.
Still waiting for my renewed merchant marine documents. Has been way too long and I have missed several good jobs.
But job I am up for now starts around mid July and Coast Guard tells me, everything is in final stage of processing and should be mailed next week. I call every other day.
Am really missing cooking! But all this time off has given me R&D time and have lots of new ideas, from the forums and my many cook books. Luckily I have worked with this bunch before, they love new stuff and will try most anything!