Making makrouds: Why is it impossible to find semolina in US markets?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french fries, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. french fries

    french fries

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    I was looking for semolina the other day, and couldn't find any after looking for it in multiple diverse supermarkets. 

    I can find semolina flour, I can find farina, I can find about ten different textures (sizes) of bulgur, I can find pre-cooked couscous, I can find cracked wheat, I can even find whole wheat (the entire grain), I can find many forms of wheat flours, but no semolina anywhere. 

    Does nobody cook with semolina in the U.S.? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif

    PS: If anyone is interested I was making makrouds, and I ended up making them with farina, which turned out ok, I guess next time I'll order semolina online beforehand. 
     
  2. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    What are makrouds? 

    Have you tried asking at an italian bakery?  I can't find semolina in any market but I ask my local bakery to bag me up some of their 00 semolina flour.  It's not on the shelf or anything, they just sell me some of what they use.
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    You must be looking for a special type of semolina.  I use semolina all the time at home.  Have you tried Bob's Red Mill?
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    AFAIK they make semolina flour (ground semolina), but not semolina, which is coarse. 
     
  5. french fries

    french fries

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    Haven't tried an Italian place. Makrouds are a north African pastry made out of semolina and dates, deep fried and dipped in honey. It's one of my favorite desserts. 
     
    millionsknives likes this.
  6. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    My middle name is "fried and dipped in honey!"  Try the italian bakery, for sure they have 00 semolina flour.
     
  7. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    That really sounds good, FF. Would you mind posting a recipe?
     
  8. will47

    will47

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    The OP wants semolina -- not semolina flour.

    Try an Indian market if there are any near you.
     
  9. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    What's the difference?
     
  10. will47

    will47

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    Hm - you're right, after reading the wikipedia page on semolina a bit more closely.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semolina

    has a pretty good explanation of what Semolina is and isn't, and what differentiates it from farina.

    Semolina is always the byproduct of milling of durham wheat, so while there is finer and coarser semolina, it's always going to be a flour / meal -- it's just the coarseness that varies. I have to assume that they're looking for something coarser than what is used for making pasta etc. I thought the semolina sold at Indian markets might be a coarser type.

    This recipe specifies "medium" semolina.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/dining/01roshrex1.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  11. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Semolina pudding (a milk pudding like a rice pudding or tapioca) was a staple of British school lunches.....  It wasn't very nice as a milk pudding, but I've had it in other dishes and liked it!
     
  12. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I still don't know what exactly it is.  Maybe it's because I've never ever seen it!!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif
     
  13. french fries

    french fries

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    Semolina is coarse. Semolina flour is ground semolina. 
     
  14. french fries

    french fries

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    We had "semolina cake" when I was young. My mum used to whip it in seconds. It was either unflavored, served with jam, or flavored with cocoa powder. However what we call semolina in France is not necessarily the same as what's called semolina in english. In English, semolina always comes from Durum wheat, whereas in France, we have "tender wheat semolina" (semoule de ble tendre) so.. not durum. 
     
  15. ishbel

    ishbel

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    I make an orange/semolina/almond cake which I think has Lebanese origins. 

    I don't dislike semolina - just the school version of that milky pud!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  16. french fries

    french fries

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    Makrouds:

    Dough:

    9 ounces semolina flour

    9 ounces semolina

    1 Tbs sugar

    1/4 tsp salt

    3.5 oz melted butter

    1/2 cup orange flower water

    Warm water

    Filling:

    8 oz dates

    Pinch cinnamon 

    1 tsp melted butter

    1 tsp orange flower water

    + oil for frying

    + honey for dipping

    Filling: Steam the dates (20mn), let cool, add other filling ingredients and roughly mix with your fingers. Shape as a 1" diameter cylinder/log.

    Dough: Mix dry ingredients, add butter and mix gently, not too much, add water and orange flower water to desired consistency (like a dough). Cover and rest 1/2hr. 

    Assemblage: Spread dough and put filling cylinder in the middle, bring dough back together on either side of filling to close the filling inside, you now have a long cylinder of dough with date filling in the center. Cut diagonally to make little lozenges. 

    • Cooking: Fry makrouds briefly in hot oil, place on rack and let dry, then dip in warmed honey, place on rack to dry, dip in honey again, place on rack to dry. 

    ENJOY! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif
     
  17. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Wow, FF, that's moving high on my to-try list.

    One question: Are those fresh or dry dates you're using?
     
  18. french fries

    french fries

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    You know I'm still not sure what the difference is? If you remember we had that discussion a couple of years ago... so those are definitely not green, unripe dates, but they're just the regular Medjool dates you buy at the store. Those were purchased in the bulk bins from Whole Foods, where the employee told me they were fresher than the ones you buy wrapped in small containers because they keep changing the ones in the bulk bins all the time. I'm not sure how much of an expert the WF employees is though. 

    I've bought tons and tons of dates in my lifetime, I absolutely LOVE them, I must have tasted at least 12 or 14 different kinds, and I'm still unable to tell the difference between fresh and dried. Maybe I've just never had dried dates? How do you tell? 
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  19. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Next time you're in the supermarket check out the packages of dates. They'll either be in the baking section or where they keep the raisins and other dried fruits. Those boxes contain drie4d, chopped dates.

    Simarlary, at the local health-food coop, they have dates that have been dried, ground, and passed through an extruder so they look like small pieces of worms.

    Those medjools that you're buying are whole, fresh (well, as fresh as anything in a market today) dates---soft, and sticky, and dark as home-made sin.

    I'm always thankful for the dried ones, because it's such a short season on the fresh ones. Not as short as with fresh figs, but short enough.

    So, with the makrouds, you'll using the whole date? Doesn't get chopped or such?
     
  20. french fries

    french fries

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    Well I never, ever buy dates that have been chopped or prepared in any way. I only buy whole dates, usually from the market, sometimes the bulk bin, rarely from a package. However, I can find the medjools in the bulk bin year long, there's no season when they aren't available. So... still confused./img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif

    For the makrouds, I steam the whole dates, let cool, then add the melted butter, cinnamon and orange flower water and mix briefly with my entire hands. The dates stay fairly whole.