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Similar to couscous, maftoul consists of small pearls hand-rolled from whole-wheat bulgur and flour. Canaan Women's Cooperatives make it the traditional way: Bulgur (parboiled cracked wheat) is spread on a tray and lightly sprinkled with water; then the grains are dusted with whole-wheat flour. The women roll the flour-coated bulgur into coarse-textured pearls, which are steamed and sun-dried. The resulting “pasta” is slightly larger and firmer than couscous; it also has a depth of flavor that you can't get from store-bought couscous.
Canaan works with more than 2,000 artisan family farms across the Levant—a region that includes Syria, Lebanon and Palestine—to make traditional agriculture economically viable for small producers in a world dominated by industrial agriculture. The company emphasizes paying its partners fair prices for their organic, sustainably harvested grains, so when you buy their products, you are also supporting centuries-old agricultural communities. And as a result of their time-tested processing methods, Canaan's whole-grain foods have a more complex flavor and are absolutely delicious. These artisanal foods are higher in fiber, protein and nutrients than their refined-grain counterparts, and they have nuttier, deeper flavors brought out by traditional Palestinian agricultural methods.
Following the package's cooking instructions, substitute maftoul for recipes that call for regular or pearl couscous; its natural nuttiness adds a toasty depth to the simplest of recipes. Try it in our Toasted Pearl Couscous with Fried Eggs or our Butternut Squash and Feta Toasted Pearl Couscous, a hearty one-pot vegetarian meal.
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