Unesco adds couscous to list of intangible cultural heritage

For the love of couscous: North Africa's favourite dish added to Unesco list
Made out of semolina, couscous is served with spiced vegetables, meat or fish, and is a popular dish the world over (Ryad Kramdi/AFP)

For the love of couscous: North Africa's favourite dish added to Unesco listFor the love of couscous: North Africa’s favourite dish added to Unesco list

Couscous joined the Unesco list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage on Wednesday. The North African dish was submitted to the UN body in a joint nomination by Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Mauritania.

After years of debate and campaigning, Unesco announced on Wednesday that it has included the national dish of the Maghreb, couscous, on its intangible cultural heritage list.

The “knowledge, know-how, and practices linked to the production and consumption of couscous” were added after Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia filed a joint application in March 2019 to have the dish recognised.

Made out of semolina, couscous is served with spiced vegetables, meat, or fish, and is now a popular dish the world over.

As with the “hummus wars” over the popular Middle Eastern staple, couscous is the subject of intense rivalry, with Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia all claiming to be its original home.

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