Stirling’s black bean and couscous salad offers taste of old Morocco

By Ross Scarborough


As the sun beats down overhead, men in suits and women in flowing skirts stride in front of me, disturbing the dust on the rocky footpath as they pass by. Although I make no attempt to hide myself, the sun and the heat of the day leave me invisible to these passersby, ensconced as I am in the cool shade of a low-hanging porch. Although I am still in Tennessee, the flavor of the new black bean and coucous salad at Stirling’s has translated this ink-stained wretch’s hum-drum meal into a cultural retreat to old Morocco.

Served on a generous bed of greens, the newest addition to Stirling’s salad lineup is held together by a complex network of eastern-tinged flavors. In fact, the black beans and couscous are just the brick-and-mortars that house flavors such as diced tomato, peppers, oils, and plenty of other exotic delights. The house salad dressing adds another dimension, as it is absorbed into the couscous and draws out the most subtle of flavors.  Black pepper, conveniently located right next to the salad dressing in the newly reconfigured condiment area, is crucial for adding a bit of spice to an already flavorful meal.

Stirling’s new salad is part of a bigger trend in the Sewanee community towards eastern food culture. Both the black bean and couscous salad and the newly opened Crossroads Café add an unparalleled element of eastern exoticism to the flavor variety of Sewanee.  While we may continue to mourn the loss of the Americana icon that was Shenanigans, we can, as the Doobie brothers once said, “just keep on lookin’ to the east” as a source of new and innovative flavors on campus.