Farro is Einkorn wheat or Emmer wheat seed. It’s an incredibly ancient grain, dating back almost 10,000 years, to when man first began domesticating wheat. Cool fact: When an ancient and preserved man, dubbed Otzi, was discovered in the Alps in the 1990s, scientists found Einkorn wheat in his stomach. He had passed away around 3300 B.C. Farro is so old, that it closely resembles grass when it grows.
Edmontonians can find this grain at Gold Forest Grains, at the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market. Every Saturday, John Schneider sells his organic ancient and heritage grains at the market. Einkorn is the newest crop to be added to his roster this year, and it is quickly becoming a favourite among customers. The flour is great for baking bread, but is also nice and light enough to for baking. Both the Farro seed and Einkorn flour have an incredible flavour profile — it’s earthy, nutty and slightly naturally sweet.
Farro is a very versatile and easy grain to cook with. So far, I’ve used it as a side dish for many meals. It cooks up like wild rice or barley. Take one part Farro and add two parts liquid (water or stock), bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer on medium-low for 20-25 mins, until the grains have absorbed all of the liquid.
Farro works great wherever you’d use brown or wild rice or even barley. Because it has such a unique flavour that carries itself, it works great as a natural side, without any additions.
Eating ancient grains is a great way to change things up, while adding a healthy boost to your diet. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous and incredibly delicious, not to mention locally grown, why not give this Farro Pilaf recipe, courtesy of Parkallen Home Kitchen, a try?