Our Products - Near East Frequently Asked Questions

What is Couscous?

Couscous is tiny grains of a round, pre-cooked pasta made in the U.S. from high quality durum (yields a glutinous flour) wheat. It has a nutty, wheat-like flavor and retains a firm bite after cooking. Couscous can be used just like rice or pasta in favorite recipes. Couscous can be used as a side dish, as directed on the package, as an ingredient or as a main dish when chicken, beef, beans or vegetables are added. Cooked and served like rice, couscous has been around for centuries. It's a staple in many cuisines from around the world, where grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes create the foundation of a healthful diet.

Near East® Couscous is available in 14 unique flavors:

What is Rice Pilaf?

Pilafs are rice or grain-based dishes that are simmered in a seasoned broth. The variations of pilaf are as endless as your creativity! Traditional pilafs are combined with toasted pasta. Pilafs can also have ingredients added such as other grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables, meat or seafood. Pilafs are staples in many cuisines around the world, where grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes create the foundation of a healthful diet.

Near East® Rice Pilaf is available in 16 unique flavors:

What are Whole Grain Blends? Should it be used as a main dish or a side dish? How many servings of whole grains are there in one serving of Whole Grain Blends?

Whole Grain Blends combine a variety of appealing ingredients and seasonings with unique grains to create delicious and hearty side dishes. Please see our Recipe Section for many delicious ways to incorporate Whole Grain Blends into your meal repertoire. Versatile and uniquely textured side dishes, each variety combines different grains, like brown rice, barley, pearled wheat and bulgur wheat, with other premium ingredients like roasted pecans, select herbs and roasted garlic. One serving (1 cup prepared) of any Whole Grain Blends product contains an ounce equivalent (one serving) of whole grains.

Whole Grain Blends are available in 7 delectable flavors:

What is Falafel? How should I use it?

Falafel is a tasty and highly nutritious vegetable patty mix made from ground garbanzo and fava beans and a special blend of spices. You can serve falafel in pita bread with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce (recipe is also available on box), lettuce, tomato and cucumber, or as a meatless burger, on a bun with your favorite condiments.

What is Taboule? How should I use it?

Taboule is a blend of bulgur wheat, mint, parsley and garlic. With chopped fresh tomato, lemon juice and olive oil, you can create a cool and refreshing salad that's a great idea for picnics or side dishes.

Is Near East® organic?

Near East® products are not produced organically.

Does Near East® contain GMOs?

Currently none of our oats, wheat, and rice is derived from GMO technology. However, given we must purchase and mill many bulk grains, such as corn, soy, canola, and flax, there always is a possibility that those grains may contain GMO material. Non-GMO Near East grains may come in contact with grain dust from GMO ingredients via common harvesting, handling, and transportation materials and equipment. It is important to note that there is no system in place in the United States that separates these foods. Thus, while we can say with certainty that Near East oats, wheat, and rice are not developed through biotechnology, it is feasible that trace amounts of GMO ingredients may be present in some grain-based products. This is likely true of other grain products. Please note that GMO grains available in the U.S. are reviewed and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Do Near East® products contain MSG?

No, none of our products contain MSG.

Do any Near East® products contain allergens?

Each Near East® product has a list of the specific allergens contained within the specific product at the end of its ingredient statement.

I'm a vegetarian or I keep Kosher. How can I tell which products contain meat or dairy?

Products are Kosher-certified Pareve when bearing the circled U symbol on package. That means they are not made with meat or dairy ingredients according to the Kosher certificates for each ingredient. Products containing dairy bear the circled U Dairy symbol. Products containing meat bear the circled U Meat symbol.

Please note: Pastas with Delicate Sauce are manufactured in a different plant than other Near East® products and are not Kosher certified.

Are Near East® products gluten free?

While Near East is proud to offer a variety of grain dishes to suit many needs and tastes, we cannot guarantee that any of our products are gluten free. Because our products are processed in facilities alongside other ingredients that contain gluten, there is always a slight risk of cross contact.


Go Back

Get Flash Player

Please install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player and enable JavaScript to use this site.