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Ingredients up close…Semolina

Ingredients are a key part of our lives and diets, and while we all have access to the ingredients of the foods we eat, how many of us actually look beyond the label? We’ve all been there, stood or sat, reading the side of the cereal box or the back of a breakfast bar. Usually to determine how much sugar or fat something contains then we get towards the end with the random things that we’re not so sure about. While it’s good to know your food, I can appreciate that shopping would take a hell of a lot longer if we stopped to google the back of every pack we pick up.

So, I wanted to take the work out of it and delve deeper into some of the ingredients we use here at Jamila’s Cookies, to give our customers some insight into just what is going down the oesophagus. As semolina is one of our key ingredients and is quite mysterious to some, it seems like a good place to start.

What is semolina?

Semolina is a type of flour that comes from durum wheat starch that has been cracked into coarse pieces and sifted (resulting in semolina). It is said to originate from Italy dating back as early as 1790. While semolina is technically flour, it differs in appearance and texture to the common flour we all know and love. Semolina is courser than everyday flour and has a yellowish/gold colour. It grows predominantly in the middle east and counts for less than 10% of the world’s wheat cultivation.

How can you use it?

As semolina’s home turf is Italy and the surrounding Mediterranean region its number one use is for… you guessed it, Pasta! It is also used to make couscous which second to past is another staple food. Across Europe and the middle east, it is also used to make bread, pies, desserts and sweet treats (just like our Maamoul). Its unique formula gives it a mix of a soft, crumbly texture to be desired.

Is it good for me?

As with many foods, there are various health components locked within semolina. While it contains gluten and carbohydrates, which is unfortunate for some. It is packed with iron, protein, provides antioxidants, and B vitamins which give energy! The rich mixture of health benefits tip the scale in favour of good vs bad. So when you decide to dig into one, or two or three (I won’t tell anybody you had three in a row, their very moreish). Don’t feel bad, it's worth the calories!

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