When we’re kids, “pasta” usually means spaghetti noodles and marinara sauce. As we grow older and dive deeper into the culinary world, though, you may be surprised to discover that the word “pasta” covers more types of noodles than you may have ever imagined.
Couscous, a type of a pasta shaped like tiny pearls, is an example of a kind that you may or may not have been aware of growing up. We’ll be describing what couscous tastes like and various ways to eat and use this round pasta in this article.
What Does Couscous Taste Like?
If you were to eat a cooked spaghetti noodle on its own, you wouldn’t get much flavor. Pasta is a dish that needs to be paired with sauces, mix-ins, and toppings to truly make it shine.
Couscous is no exception in that regard. Its flavor is extremely weak and borders on tasteless. Those with a particularly sensitive palate might pick up just a bit of nuttiness in couscous, which comes from the wheat flour in it.
Overall, however, expect plain couscous to have little to no flavor. That’s what makes it perfect for mixing with other, more flavorful ingredients.
Do Couscous and Quinoa Taste the Same?
Given their visual similarities, it’s not unusual to wonder if couscous and quinoa taste the same. Although they look similar and have similar textures, though, their flavor is different.
Quinoa, a popular seed, has an earthy taste that might remind you of brown rice. Couscous, on the other hand, has a vaguely nutty but otherwise bland flavor.
Learn more about the differences between these two health food giants in our quinoa vs couscous comparison.
What Can You Add to Couscous for Flavor?
Because you probably won’t want to mix your couscous with a jar of marinara sauce, you may want to know what else you can do with it to give it flavor. Like other pastas, it’s remarkably flexible.
One way to bump up the flavor factor in your couscous is to change the preparation. Rather than boiling it in only plain salted water, consider making it in vegetable stock instead.
Once your couscous is cooked to perfection, it’s time to consider what kind of toppings and sauces to stir into it. We suggest sprinkling in some fresh herbs like basil or coriander. Chopped almonds are also excellent stir-ins and will lend your couscous some pleasing texture.
You can also never go wrong with a sprinkle of lemon zest. Feel free to even squeeze a lemon wedge into your couscous to give it a lively and tart fruity note.
Related Article: Where to Find Couscous in the Grocery Store
Can You Eat Couscous by Itself?
Want to get a feel for couscous without other ingredients distracting from the flavor and texture? You’ll be pleased to know that yes, you can eat couscous by itself.
Feel free to grab yourself a fork or spoonful. Keep in mind that the flavor won’t be particularly remarkable – this pasta, like many others, is quite mild in taste.
You Might Also Like: What Does Quinoa Taste Like?
If you think pasta is getting boring, you can think again with iterations like couscous. This round pasta is great at absorbing flavors, which means it’s the perfect canvas for all your favorite flavors. Try making it into a vegetable salad with chickpeas for a delicious and easy dinner.