Ancient grains, pure flavours
When we talk about ancient grains we mean all the grains that in the millennia have remained original without being subject to human selection; in a few words they remained as well as “mother nature” has created them, without subjecting genetic modifications or varieties selections as happened for the so-called modern grains.
The ancient grains are rustic species well-matched to low environmental impact cultivation techniques: they are resistant to disease, have been adapted to the environment in the centuries naturally creating some populations called “ecotypes”.
There are several kinds of ancient grains many of which have spontaneously adapted in different areas for climate, altitude and
soil type; among them certainly FARRO, the oldest cereal cultivated by our ancestors since the dawn of agriculture.
The FARRO common name identifies three different subspecies:
- FARRO MONOCOCCO (Triticum monococcum) – Absolutely the oldest cereal, from which originated the Triticum dicoccum. It has a low glycemic impact and a fragile gluten it allows to obtain extremely digestible products.
- FARRO DICOCCO (Triticum dicoccum) – Is the most widespread subspecies, the progeny of the current hard wheat (Triticum durum), so the flour obtained is very suitable for pasta.
- FARRO SPELTA (Triticum spelta) – It comes from a spontaneous intersection between Triticum dicoccum and a wild progenitor; this subspecies originated the present tender wheat (Triticum aestivum) so the main use the milling to get production of flour suitable for bakery products.
Triticum dicoccum Emmer
Is the most widely spread and cultivated species in Italy where different populations can be found according to cultivation areas. It is widespread on the Apennines and particularly in Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise and Lazio. Historically it has been one of the cereals that have contributed most to feed our nation, starting from the Roman Empire when it was the base of the troops’ diet. Emmer supplies fibre, protein, mineral salts (it contains 42mg of phosphorus and 440mg of potassium in 100g of edible product. Source Inran) and has a low glycaemic index.
Extremely versatile, it is excellent to prepare soups and farrotti in winter and salads and cold dishes in summer.
Its flour is good for bread, sweets, pizza or focaccia; semolina makes excellent pasta. Traditionally it is consumed both pearled (no need to soak) and dehusked (that is whole, always with no soaking, just cooking it a bit longer).
Triticum dicoccum in the world is called:
USA: EMMER or SPELT
Great Britain – Austria – Canada: SPELT
Triticum monococcum Einkorn
It is the oldest, the first form of “wheat” ever cultivated by man, it is estimated to be over 10,000 years old! From a nutritional point of view, einkorn wheat is particularly rich in proteins, antioxidants and carotenoids.
It has a very low gluten content (3%) and research is assessing its properties for consumption by sensitive or intolerant people.
Triticum monococcum in the world is called:
Great Britain – Austria: EINKORN
Spain: ESPELTA PEQUEN
Spelt is not particularly suitable to the Italian climate. Infact, most
of the spelt available on the market today comes from Eastern and Central Europe. Spelta is less rustic and adaptable to poor soils than emmer wheat.
Spelt makes excellent flour and is particularly suitable for sweets, biscuits and bakery products.
Triticum spelta in the world is called:
Great Britain – Austria: SPELT