Maftoul is pearly Palestinian couscous, made from whole grain flour, hand-rolled and sun-dried by women applying traditional techniques dating back hundreds of years. Larger than its North African cousin, Palestinian maftoul’s size and bulgur wheat core give it added texture. It can be either steamed or boiled, and thankfully is far more forgiving in the kitchen than couscous, rice or pasta. Thanks to its solid bulgur core and consistency, it will not go soggy as quickly and even when slightly overcooked it will still retain some of that 'al-dente' crunch.
Supporting entrepreneurial women
Our Moon Valley maftoul is made by a women’s cooperative in the town of Dura, just south of Hebron in the southern West Bank. Established in 2006 with just 16 members, they have grown to 42 in total, with 22 women directly involved in maftoul processing. They set up initially in order to benefit from economies of scale, to oversee quality standards, and create more market linkages. In addition to maftoul, these women also produce grape molasses, grape jam, apple and grape vinegar.
Last year the cooperative directly employed active members for 3300 working days (150 days per 22 working women). This is significant, as for some of these families, the women are the main bread winners. As well, there are several member widows who were able to secure loans from the cooperative directly in order to pay for their children’s University education.
Whenever we visit Dura, we leave inspired by the determination of these entrepreneurial women who continually strive forward in what is undoubtedly a very difficult area for both political and socio-economic reasons. And you can be sure that even if we are there to discuss technical issues related to food safety and hygiene, with their warm but firm manner they will not let us walk out the door until we have shared a warm pot of their freshly prepared maftoul.
Discover maftoul in all its versatility
Much like some of our other Moon Valley products such as grape molasses and freekeh, until recently maftoul was relatively little known outside of the Levant. However as Middle Eastern foods have grown in popularity, maftoul is right up there with freekeh as a hot new versatile grain. Go ahead and try it out in soups, salads, or main dishes much as one would rice or couscous, maftoul is both delicious and fun to eat. Our Moon Valley whole-grain maftoul is surprisingly healthy as well. Once again we are talking about a high quality, authentic Levantine product sourced from true artisans. That is what we are all about.