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Jan 17, 2012 12:59 PM

where can I find Marash pepper/where did I buy M'hamsa cous cous?

I'm delving into Paula Wolfert's new Moroccan cookbook and also Mourad New Moroccan. Can't find Marash pepper at Christina's and Penzey's doesn't have it listed on their website. I don't think Arax has it as I would have bought some up had I seen it and I've combed through the store. I know it's online somewhere but would love a local source.

I was delighted to find that I have a glass jar of M'hamsa couscous in my's imported from Tunisia and mentioned in both books. I suspect I bought it at Sofra...$6.95 for a 500 grams. I'll call Sofra but wonder if anyone has seen it elsewhere, and perhaps for cheaper. Again, I don't think it's at Arax...thanks.

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  1. I've been using Penzey's aleppo pepper since I ran out of my jar of marash from Zingerman's. It's really, really close, perhaps ever-so-slightly fruitier. But I usually use it for making oily pasta sauces, so maybe the difference is more pronounced when cooking through Moroccan cuisine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: emannths

      Y'know, I know Penzeys sources their aleppo from Turkey and I managed to pick up some Syrian aleppo yesterday (I'm in NYC) and the color is totally different. I'm wondering if what Penzeys is selling is actually marash.

    2. You might try giving this Turkish market a call: Turkuaz Market, 16 Brighton Avenue, Allston (617-202-6125).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Taralli

        thanks to you both...I'll call the Turkish market or go by just to check it out. Ih ave some great aleppo and also some ufra and just checked Formaggio Kitchen site...they have all three so I'll do a price comparison with Zingerman's, which also has the M'Hamsa couscous for $10.

      2. Cristina's has carried maras, urfa and aleppo in the past. Haven't been recently. I have purchased marash at Turkuaz Market (as mentioned by Taralli). I'm partial to the stuff at Formaggio. Ihsan is Turkish and though the store is obviously more European in focus, if there's something Turkish it will be top quality.

        1. I have seen Marash at Formaggio's, and if you are talking about that very course hand-rolled cous cous in a jar from Tunisia, I have also seen it at Formaggio's. They also carry the harisa from the same company that produces the cous cous. It's a very homemade style. After a while in your fridge, it tends to dry out. So what I do is scoop out what ever portion I need, put it in a tiny serving bowl, add some olive oil and mix it up to a consistency I like. And, as it turns out, that's what they do over there. This harisa has a slighty smoky not so intensely hot flavor, somewhat like MaraƟ or Marash pepper, actually.

          Here's where you can buy from Formaggio's online. I sort suspect no one who uses online shopping much but I could be wrong...

          Arax and Formaggio's and Sofra also carry Urfa, another Turkish staple chili, which is smokier and deeper but milder. Urfa made it's way here to these stores in 2009 or 2010 I recall, and Maras came just last year I think. Urfa is great on just about anything, eggs, vegetables, fish, chicken...

          1 Reply
          1. re: tatsu

            Thanks everyone. It's easier for me to get to FK and being reminded that the owner is Turkish helped as well. I am using small amounts and really want the highest quality so that pushed me over in spite of what I usually think of as too costly ingredients there (love the place, however). I went today and got all three peppers and did see the coarse hand-rolled cous cous there, for the same price I paid so maybe I got it there; would make sense seeing he carries all that brand. I am going to make my own harissa from the new Mourad Moroccan cookbook