Canaan Organic Fair-Trade Maftoul $12.95

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.

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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. Or simply toss with butter or olive oil, shower with herbs and corase salt and serve as a simple side dish to soak up stews or lay beneath a roast chicken to catch the juices.

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