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It is also common in Western Africa whence it has spread into Central Africa. Couscous reached Turkey from Syria to in the 16th century and is eaten in most of the Turkish southern provinces.
In Rome Bartolomeo Scappi's culinary guide of 1570 describes a Moorish dish, succussu.
This quotation contains what may be the earliest mention of couscous (kuskusu) in West Africa. Evidence is mounting that the process of couscous cookery, especially steaming grain over a broth in a special pot, might have originated before the tenth century in the area of West Africa where the medieval Sudanic kingdom thrived, today encompassing parts of the contemporary nations of Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Ghana, and Burkina Faso.
Even today in the region of Youkounkoun of Guinea and Senegal, a millet couscous with meat or peanut sauce is made, as well as a rice couscous.
The remains of the first vessels (known) in the Tiaret region (Algeria) where cooking tools dating from the ninth century have been discovered, very strongly resemble the primary tool for cooking couscous Couscous was known to the Nasrid royalty in Granada as well.
Couscous in Tunisia is served on every occasion; it is also served in some regions (mostly during Ramadan), sweetened as a dessert called masfouf.
In Brazil, the traditional couscous is made from cornmeal.
The couscous that is sold in most Western supermarkets has been pre-steamed and dried.
In modern times, couscous production is largely mechanized, and the product is sold in markets around the world.
In the Sahelian countries of West Africa, such as Mali and Senegal, pearl millet is pounded or milled to the size and consistency necessary for the couscous. The base is a tall metal pot shaped rather like an oil jar in which the meat and vegetables are cooked as a stew.
Historians have different opinions as to when wheat began to replace the use of millet. AD) states in his His Rihlah (or Travels): When the traveler arrives in a village the women of the blacks come with anlî and milk and chickens and flour of nabaq [lotus], rice, and fûnî fonio, this is like the grain of mustard and from it kuskusu and porridge are made, and bean flour.