Italian Farro - New!
What is Farro?
Farro, also known as Emmer, Medium Farro, and most specifically as Triticum dicoccum, is an ancient wheat that began in the Fertile Crescent several thousand years ago.
It has been found in the tombs of pharaohs in Egypt and is storied to have been the ration that powered the legions of the Roman Empire’s conquering soldiers.
As a nutrient power house, this grain is an excellent source of protein, fiber, magnesium, and iron.
As history progressed into more recent times, Farro cultivation gave way to modern varieties that were easier to grow, more productive, and more economical.
But as with other ancient grains, like Einkorn, Farro is making a modern resurgence among health conscious consumers who demand taste and nutrition over all other factors.
Today, Farro can be found growing in more and more locales, but most notably in the mountainous region of Tuscany, Italy, which is where we went to find this high quality product to bring you!
Farro is an ancient form of wheat and does contain gluten, so those who wish to avoid gluten should take note.
However, some scientists and researchers believe that the epidemic of gluten-sensitive diseases we are seeing today are related to glyphosate, and not necessarily the gluten. (See: Common Weedkiller Used in Modern Agriculture Could be Main Factor in Gluten Intolerance.)
What is the difference between Whole Grain and Pearled Farro?
Healthy Traditions offers two different options in regards to the Farro. The difference between the two is to what degree the grain has been processed.
Pearled grain is a milling technique to which the inedible husk and the outer bran layer have been removed. The benefit of this process is to reduce cook time.
Pearled Farro would be excellent to have on hand for those times when you forgot to plan ahead or realize you need a dish prepared quickly, with little time to wait for cooking.
The Whole Grain Farro has been minimally processed to only remove the outer husk that is inedible, leaving the bran intact. This of course would be the most nutritious option, as the bran layer contains the valuable fiber that is abundant in Farro.
The cook time of Whole Grain Farro is about double that of Pearled, but this difference can be reduced significantly by soaking the Whole Grain in cold water in the fridge overnight prior to cooking.
With a very long shelf life, the case can be made for keeping both versions on hand in the pantry or even better, stored in the freezer for maximum storage life.
The Whole Grain Farro, for those situations where ample time has been set aside to prepare a dish with the highest nutrition, and the Pearled version, for when dinner time sneaks up on you and only the chewy, nutty flavor of Farro will satisfy.
How to use Farro?
Farro can be enjoyed in many different ways and is a very versatile grain.
It can be ground into a fresh flour, suitable for any number of baked goods, with use of a home grain mill.
Farro can also be prepared similar to that of rice or pasta; it can be served in pilafs, as risotto, tossed in a cold salad, under sauce or olive oil—you name it!
Farro also makes for a delicious and satisfying hot cereal for breakfast. It can be enjoyed sweet with fruit, yogurt, or other topping, but can also be a savory cereal with spices and herbs.
For a sweet cereal, use milk as the cooking liquid or for a more savory option try using chicken or vegetable broth as the liquid. Farro can also be cracked in your grain mill and then prepared similar to steel cut oats.
For cooking Farro, again versatility is the theme. It can be prepared on the stove top, slow cooker, oven, rice cooker, or pressure cooker. A good rule of thumb is to cook the Farro until al-dente.
How to soak Farro:
Both Whole Grain and Pearled Farro can benefit from a cold pre-soak. Simply cover the grain with cold water in a container and place in the fridge from 8 to 24 hours. Then drain off the water and cook as you normally would, but with reduced time!
A simple stove top method for both Pearled and Whole Grain Farro:
- 1 cup of Farro
- 3 cups of cooking liquid (water, broth, milk, etc.)
- Optional are salt, butter, olive oil, aromatics etc.
- Place ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.
- Simmer time will vary depending on the version of grain you select and on the choice of pre-soaking or not. These times are approximate:
- 45 minutes for Unsoaked Whole Grain
- 20 minutes for Soaked Whole Grain
- 20 minutes for Unsoaked Pearled
- 10 minutes for Soaked Pearled
- Begin to test for an al-dente texture.
- Once al-dente is achieved remove the pot from the heat.
- Strain off the remaining liquid as needed.