#ViralOfTheWeekend: Meet Brazil’s unusua ...

#ViralOfTheWeekend: Meet Brazil’s unusual ‘cuscuz slide’!

Jun 19, 2023

Couscous — or cuscuz in Portuguese — is a typical Brazilian food from the Northeast and is also very popular as it is considered a cheap but nutritious and versatile meal. Commonly made with corn flakes, water and salt, the dish can be prepared alongside all kinds of accompaniments, such as dried meat, fish, eggs, butter, etc. We will teach you how to make it at the end of this article. But first… 

One of the (multiple) traditions of the city of São João de Caruaru, in the state of Pernambuco, are the famous ‘Giant Food’ celebrations, with colorful parties and every street corner decorated with enormous daily life items. The party once again took place this month and had a unique attraction… a gigantic slide coming out of a big… cuscuz pan! 

The weird but very amusing construction was built inside the city’s mall. It attracted many kids and also curious people who love their couscous-addicted culture! The image went viral on social media, with many netizens saying that, in Brazil, it’s not enough to simply like something… Brazilians sometimes really need to worship it! 

Cuscuz origins

Although the dish is ubiquitous in Brazilian households, particularly in the states of the Northeast, couscous was born outside of Brazil’s borders. 

The story goes that the dish was created in the 13th century on the African continent by the Arab-Berbers people, who at that time lived in Maghreb, a region today comprising Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania.

After hundreds of years of culinary and cultural syncretism boosted by the European navigations, the recipe that was the predecessor to present-day couscous crossed the Mediterranean Sea towards the Iberian Peninsula, before later reaching the Americas in an entirely re-invented form. 

Brazil and Couscous was a story of love at first sight. That’s because, among other things, corn is a native product in the country, existing not just in abundance but resisting all sorts of temperatures. Brazil’s indigenous groups had a variety of uses for corn already, and later it spread to urban centers. Many centuries later, the cuscuz is stronger than ever! 

Make your very own Brazilian Couscous! 

  • First, mix the corn meal with salt in a separate bowl. 

  • After that, start gently and gradually adding cold water to the corn meal, mixing it until all the ingredients are moist enough moist to reach a solid (but not that solid) texture. It is very important to hydrate the corn flakes (known as flocão).

  • Let the mixture stand in a cool place for around 10 to 15 minutes. 

  • Oh, it's important to have a cuscuzeira, as Brazilians call the proper pan for couscous. But you can also do it without one, using a sieve and a deep pan. There is even a microwave recipe that you can check out here

  • Now, put some boiling water in the lower part of your cuscuzeira, separating this part from the top (where you will place the hydrated corn flakes) with the iron part with holes through which the hot steam will come out and ‘cook’ the couscous Remember to grease the top with butter so it doesn't stick!

  • Wait for another 10 to 15 minutes… and it’s done! Now use your imagination and add some toppings. Here is a list of six ideas for making a proper Northeastern cuscuz

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