Does couscous expire?!


Does couscous expire?

Like all food over a long time it will deteriorate.

Yes. The expiry date is usually printed on the couscous box.

Couscous should be steamed two to three times. When properly cooked, the texture is light and fluffy; it should not be gummy or gritty. The couscous available to buy in most Western supermarkets has been pre-steamed and dried, the package directions usually instruct to add a little boiling water to it to make it ready for consumption. This method is quick and easy to prepare by placing the couscous in a bowl and pouring the boiling water or stock over the couscous, then covering the bowl tightly. The couscous swells and within a few minutes is ready to fluff with a fork and serve. Pre-steamed couscous takes less time to prepare than dried pasta or grains such as rice.

The traditional North African method is to use a steamer called a kiska:s in Tunisian Arabic or couscoussière in French. The base is a tall metal pot shaped rather like an oil jar in which the meat and vegetables are cooked in a stew. On top of the base a steamer sits where the couscous is cooked, absorbing the flavours from the stew. The lid to the steamer has holes around its edge so that steam can escape. It is also possible to use a pot with a steamer insert. If the holes are too big the steamer can be lined with damp cheesecloth. There is little archeological evidence of early use of couscous, mainly because the original couscoussière was probably made from organic material which would not survive.

In Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, couscous is generally served with vegetables (carrots, turnips, etc.) cooked in a spicy or mild broth, and some meat (generally, chicken, lamb or mutton); in Morocco, couscous can also be topped with fish in a sweet sauce with raisins and caramelized onions; in some parts of Libya fish and squid are also used. The stew in Tunisia is red with a tomato and chili base, whereas in Morocco it is generally yellow.

In Morocco it is also served, sometimes at the end of a meal or just by itself, as a delicacy called "Seffa". The couscous is usually steamed several times until it is very fluffy and pale in color. It is then sprinkled with almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Traditionally, this dessert will be served with milk perfumed with orange blossom water, or it can be served plain with buttermilk in a bowl as a cold light soup for supper.

The dish is now popular in former colonial power France, where the word "couscous" usually refers to couscous together with the stew. Packaged sets containing a box of quick-preparation couscous and a can of vegetables and, generally, meat are sold in French grocery stores and supermarkets. There are also recipes from Brazil that use boiled couscous molded into timbale with other ingredients.

Cooked couscous or couscous exposed to moisture will after severly days just like any grain or pasta. But dried couscous should be safe to eat for several years altought it might lose its quality after a year. It is a pasta you know.

An "experation date" is the date by which a store must stop selling a product. That does not mean the product will spoil on that date. Take milk for example. You will know if it went bad by the smell with no doubt. Trust your senses the "experation date" is for the retailers.

I don't think so.
I wouldn't eat it 2 years past expiration, but if it were 6 months out, I'd cook it and see how it tastes.
I've used dried beans past expiration, and they took longer to soak/cook, but they tasted good.
Good Luck.

yes it does, quickly when you leave it outside and a little longer when you keep it in the fridge covered.

eventually even water goes off when it' just left in the bottle

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