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Umbria

EMMER WHEAT

This cereal grain � also known as spelt � is the oldest grain of all to have survived to our times. The variety Triticum durum dicoccum is grown mainly on the many organic farms in the "Sagrantino Road" area. This species, which has a compact, tapering and bearded spikelet, has kernels that remain in the glumes (chaff) after threshing; thus for consumption it requires another operation called husking, which is done with a stone mill.

The flour from this variety grown in Umbria is perhaps the only kind that is not white, but rather the color of the outside of the kernel. For many centuries the rural diet made extensive use of emmer wheat: rich in carbohydrates, calcium and phosphorus, it was used together with legumes to make hearty "poor man's" soups that were substantially comparable to meat for the amounts of protein and other nutrients they provided. Recently, the increased interest in organic products and the search for healthy natural foods has led to the rediscovery of emmer.


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