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The Whole Grain Stamp reached an exciting milestone this week. The Stamp is now approved for use on products sold in over 50 countries around the world!
Fifty-four countries to be exact. While the majority of products using the Stamp are here in the United States, about 21% of all Stamped products can now be found outside of the U.S. market. This is a promising trend, suggesting that demand for whole grains is increasing worldwide, and consumers around the globe are becoming more aware of the beneﬁts of adding whole grains to their diets.
The most recent additions to our international list of Stamp approved products were a handful of countries in the Middle East: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. While we know Freekeh, Farro, Barley and Bulgur are all indigenous to the Middle East, I wanted to explore the Middle Eastern heritage more to see how these, and other whole grains, might be used in local dishes.
The ﬁrst recipe I encountered was a popular, traditional dish, Mujadarra. This comfort-food classic combines brown rice, lentils and caramelized onions to create a rich, hearty meal that’s easy to prepare and inexpensive.
Another whole grain that was featured in diﬀerent ways was black rice. One of the more creative ways I saw it used was in this Middle Eastern Inspired Black Rice Salad. The salad features the rice as the star of the show, complemented by pomegranate seeds, squash and a lemon-honey-tahini dressing. A more straightforward approach to using black rice was this Black Rice Pilaf with Shallots. It’s a simple pilaf that would traditionally be paired with lamb or chicken shawarma for a satisfying, aromatic meal.
One of the most common dishes I came across was Tabbouleh. Typically made from bulgur, this traditional dish makes a nice side to your main course. It’s light, lemony and packed with fresh herbs. For a heartier bulgur recipe, this Spicy Bulgur Pilaf might hit the spot. Originating from Turkey, the secret to this dish is the all-important red paper paste, which comes in varying levels of heat.
What are some of your favorite international whole grain recipes?