Ouyahia said that a “neighboring country” has wrongly taken credit for couscous.
Rabat – The prime minister of Algeria, , accused Morocco of “taking credit for this Maghrebi dish,” referring to couscous. The minister was on a couscous-tasting tour on Thursday at Algiers’ Pasta Production Fair.
“A neighboring country has taken credit for couscous. We have to prove them wrong. We are not saying that couscous is Algerian but Maghrebi. We have to promote Algerian couscous though,” he said.
Ouyahia also said that the fair had proved that “exports are now part of the Algerian entrepreneurial culture, both public and private.”
As of 2016, the top exporters of couscous were, respectively, France, Italy, Morocco, Israel, and Tunisia and the top importers were France, the UK, the US, Belgium–Luxembourg, and Germany, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity.
Outside the Arab region, the North African couscous is also found in Sicily and Brazil.
In January, food experts from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia discussed making a joint proposal to add couscous to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Algeria and Morocco also dispute the origin of Rai folk music.