In Quebec, we can be proud of many things: our language, our landscapes, our products. Among all this pride, it is important to highlight the colossal work of our entrepreneurs. That is why today we would like to highlight the work of one of our many local businesses.
Who would have thought that Quebec couscous could rival its North African version? All this was possible thanks to none other than Produits Zinda. This family business was established on the South Shore of Montreal, in Candiac, 21 years ago. Today, Produits Zinda proudly wears the hat of one of the most important Canadian couscous producers in the world. Moreover, Produits Zinda exports its Quebec couscous internationally. That’s saying a lot!
Heart and appetite
Project Zinda was born from the fusion of the best grain, Canadian wheat, and the legacy of ancestral know-how passed down from generation to generation. Founded in 1999 by Mr. Majid Jamal Eddine, Zinda Products has evolved over the past 20 years with one goal in mind: “To produce quality couscous in Canada from Canadian durum wheat semolina”. Today, the Quebec company has more than 50 employees at its site on Liberté Avenue in Candiac. With a 36,000-square-foot plant located on nearly one hectare of land, Zinda does not do things by halves! Annually, they produce 15,000 tons of couscous on a production area of 8,500 square feet. Even if all these huge figures may seem vague to you, we can confirm that this is couscous!
A unique process
Contrary to what some might think, couscous doesn’t grow like that (no judgment here if you think it was the case)! First of all, you should know that semolina is the basic ingredient of couscous. Interesting fact: the semolina used by Zinda Products comes entirely from the Canadian prairies. The semolina arrives in Candiac by railcar and is then processed to produce different varieties of couscous such as plain, organic, whole wheat and pearl.
This being said, how can the semolina be transformed into such tasty little balls? When the semolina enters the plant, it is hydrated, then stirred so that the semolina particles stick together and form small pellets that will be cooked at high heat. After cooking at high heat, the miniature pellets are separated, dried, sieved and then cooled. Once all these steps are completed, the couscous is ready to be packaged and exported across the country and abroad!