São João is here, a time of typical junina food, music and dance. For me, it is one of the best times of the year. Corn season, there are many foods derived from it: hominy, mush, cake, boiled corn, roasted over a fire … Of course, I end up remembering my grandmother, who used to cook for a battalion of children, grandchildren, comadres and a multitude of people of people, dishes made with hand-threshed corn, fresh coconut milk, manioc etc.
Of so many corn dishes, there is one that is popularly consumed at any time of the year. I’m talking about our couscous. But did you know that it is more of a cultural mix adapted here in Brazil? Couscous is actually original from the region bathed by the Mediterranean Sea. Mediterranean cuisine, full of seafood and aromatic spices, involves part of the Arab world, north of the African continent and south of the European continent. When studying Mediterranean cuisine we come across its triad. Three striking elements and they are: Grape, Olive and Wheat.
Within the Mediterranean region there is a sub-region called Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia). From wheat there are also various preparations, including Moroccan couscous, made from wheat semolina.
Then, due to African influence, the couscous arrived in Brazil and the wheat semolina was replaced by the corn flake. There are some sweet variations for couscous one of them takes coconut, which came from South Asia, as well as cinnamon and together, with water and a pinch of salt. Such ingredients make this dish so common and so cosmopolitan. Tip: serve with a little condensed milk.