"Most Jebala Arab are rural peasants who farm for a living. Large amounts of barley and wheat are both produced and consumed. . . The Jebala Arab also raise animals such as chickens, goats, and sheep. . ." 

The national dish is couscous.  It is a cereal like substance made from steamed wheat and served with vegetables, fish or meat, and a soup like sauce.  In the story, as the king is trying to decide if Hilima is a human.  The test uses two bowls of couscous, one of which is seasoned with salt to see which Hilima prefers.  If she takes the seasoned, surely she is human.


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