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Israeli couscous source?

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Hey MTL hounds,

I sometime see recipes calling for Israeli or Levantine couscous, which seems to be a larger gauge couscous, about the size of small peas.

I don't think I've seen this in stores (maybe I haven't looked very hard, mind you). Does anybody know where to find this?

Cheers,
Snowpea

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  1. I've seen it in a few places in Mile End around St. Viateur. There are 4 or 5 groceries on Avenue du Parc between Bernard and St. Viateur, and I'd be surprised if you couldn't find it in that block. There's also a Kosher grocery/bakery on Victoria that should have some. I think it's near the interesection of Cote Ste Catherine, but I'm not sure what it's called.

    1. I love that stuff! Back when I lived in Cote St Luc, I used to see it in several markets in that area - for instance Quality Fruits on Westminster and Mackle and Fruiticana on Westminster and Cote St-Luc Road.

      Earlier this week I was at Cananut, on Mazurette in the Marche Centrale area (great store by the way) and I saw some bags of what I could swear was Israeli couscous - but since I still had some at home I did not investigate further. It was on the far wall at eye level, near the jams and jellies in case that helps.

      FWIW I go to those fruit markets on Parc ave. pretty often and don't recall seeing it...though you might have good luck at the Kosher store on Parc just north of St. Viateur. You might also try Montreal Kosher in the Wilderton shopping centre on Van Horne.

      1. Thanks for the tips! Hounders rule.

        Since I'm in NDG, I'll investigate on Westminster first and range further abroad if need be.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TheSnowpea

          I'm pretty sure you can buy it in the kosher section of the Metro on Sherbrooke and Victoria.. not 100% but I think I have bought it there before.

        2. I do believe I saw some at Akhavan. Check the first aisle near the produce, amongst other grains and pastas. A while back I kept my eye out for it and then I started seeing it a lot more in some smaller stores.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Daiya

            There seems to be several "types" of Israeli couscous..i'm not sure which one is the most authentic...but they do have some at Akhavan. I prefer the type i get at the bulk foods store at the atwater market on the second floor (however, it's not sold in bulk).

          2. As mentioned Fruiticana has it - as well as Loblaws St Jacques and IGA on Cote st luc, in the kosher food section.

            2 Replies
            1. re: maisonbistro

              Loblaws St Jacques? Well colour me suprised. I never thought of looking in the kosker section. DUH!

              1. re: TheSnowpea

                Yup - I buy it there all the time. Hope I left enough for you!

            2. We found some at Akhavan in the end. It is labelled Moghrabieh. A little googling reveals this is Lebanese version of large gauge couscous, but how cares? I will now research recipes.

              2 Replies
              1. re: TheSnowpea

                I decided to buy some there the other day; interestingly they call it Jerusalem couscous (not Israeli). Anyway, i just cooked up a pot and it it disgusting! The couscous "peas" are all differnt sizes so by the time to bigger ones are cooked the smaller ones have disintegrated. I'moff to the market to get my regular brand...

                1. re: Arktik

                  How odd! My bag had fairly even sized 'peas' and it cooks up okay; I've been using Bittman's Pearl Couscous Tajine recipe in his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian book. The recipe uses 1 cup of pearl couscous, which kinda sops up most of the liquid (2 cups of broth plus whatever comes from the veggies) and you cook it for a little while, so you end up with a stew. The Akhavan stuff worked well for that. I haven't tried it in a soup or with just boiling it up.

                  How did you cook it?

              2. Loblaws on St. Jacques, the IGA (is it a metro?) on the western end of Cote St. Luc and the Cavendish IGA (or is it a metro?) are all excellent Kosher places. The OSEM brand (Nestle) identified as Israeli Couscous comes in a polybag and would be what you are looking for.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Wooody

                  They sell it in pre-packaged bulk form at Merci in the Jean Talon Market.