Couscous Pearls, also known as Israeli Couscous, are small balls of toasted semolina flour. In Israel they are called Ptitim. During 1949 - 1959, Israel went through an austerity period during which food and other resources were rationed. Rice, a dietary staple, was scarce, and there was a need to come up with an alternative food source. Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, asked the founders of a local food company to create a wheat-based substitute for rice. The result was tiny, toasted pasta made from hard wheat flour. It was an instant success with the people, and they gave it the nickname "Ben-Gurion's Rice." Today, Israeli couscous remains a staple food in Jerusalem and is enjoyed by people in many places around the world. Bob's Red Mill Traditional Pearl Couscous has a unique nutty flavor and pleasantly chewy texture that pairs exceptionally well with your favorite sauces, so it can be a great alternative to traditional pastas and rice. Use Traditional Pearl Couscous as a bed for stew, meat or vegetables, or try it with your favorite pasta sauce. Add Israeli couscous to soups, salads and pilafs for a new twist on old stand-bys. Like rice, couscous pearls will absorb the flavors of whatever spices or sauce you are using. Using pearl couscous, quick and easy main dishes and salads are just minutes away.