A table in Morocco, in the rural as in the urban areas, is barely devoid of couscous at least once a week, especially on Fridays, where many are optimistic about preparing and eating a bowl of couscous after Friday prayers, and consider it a kind of celebration of the weekly ‘Feast of the Believers’.
Although Moroccan eating habits have changed due to the shifts and necessities of a fast life, with a large number of snacks and resorting to restaurants outside the home for reasons of work and busyness, the couscous meal has maintained its place in the people.
” الجديد لو جدة والبالي لا تفرط فيه “, like a well-known Moroccan means that ‘the new thing is novelty, but the old one can’t be overlooked’, 56-year-old Ruqiya Alou responded to the issue of Moroccans’ attachment to couscous, despite the momentum of new and fast food.
“Couscous is an ancient meal in Morocco, dating back to ancient times, our ancestors were raised on couscous, and handed over its torch to their children and then their grandchildren, and so we will hand the bond to the new generations, because it is one of the symbols of Moroccan generosity, and one of the basics of the table for families,” she said.
Ms. Alou remembers how her mother was keen to keep her family members, and invite even women and cousins, to eat couscous at her home every Friday, adding that ‘usually many areas of Morocco, the women of the neighborhood tend to prepare couscous every week, and choose where they meet. to eat it.’
Moroccan researcher Ibtisam Al-Oufer said that couscous has become a social sign close to Moroccans, as soon as couscous is mentioned, Morocco comes to mind, especially because its people have excelled in preparing it in various ways and components, and it is present at their various events.
It seems that the fame of couscous is due not only to the moroccans’ association with it, as well as the peoples of North Africa, Algerians, Tunisians and Libyans, but also because it has always been admired by poets, philosophers and historians. North Africa.’
The Moroccan poet Saad Sarhan singled out a dominant space for the couscous meal in his recently published book, ‘The Court of the Table’, which he described as an icon of Moroccan cuisine, and said he deserved to write for him a huge book co-authored by a group of nutritionists, anthropologists, and history, And archeology, semiotics, and other sciences.
Sarhan tried to chronicle the origin and creators of couscous, saying that ‘because the early ancestors of the land of Morocco are Amazigh, they are likely to be the ones who created it, because the word ‘Coxo’ is an Amazigh word and means quirat or granules,”‘ he said, highlighting that ‘couscous does not have the features of the city, it is the descendant of the mountains’.
Couscous, made from wheat flour and corn, is eaten either directly by hand, usually most villagers and bawadi, or with spoons, as do the children of this generation of young people, while prepared by skilled housewives, by steam and steam, before sometimes adding vegetables and meat.