Ancient grain Emmer Faro sparks interest at the conference

Elk River, Maine. The glycemic index benefits of emmer wheat and its stories dating back to biblical times were featured many times at the First Annual Ancient Grain Conference of the Northern Crop Institute held July 20 at Oliver Kelly’s farm outside the Elk River.

said Dr. Calidas Shetty, professor of plant sciences at North Dakota State University and founding director of the Global Institute for Food Security and International Agriculture. He wants to see experiences with Emmer in chapati, a flatbread popular in India. Dr. Shetty said maybe Emir can make up between 10% to 20% of chapati to improve her nutritional profile.

Both Durum and Emmer are low in FODMAP compared to other grains, said Andrew Ross, PhD, a professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Oregon State University. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, monosaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which have been linked to digestive problems. Monash University in Australia certifies nutrients and ingredients as low in FODMAP.

Cowell Organic Farms in Harvey, ND, Emer has been grown through several generations of the Cowell family. Lowell Cole, the owner, spoke about how Emmer was dated back to biblical times. They are found in campfire ashes in the hills around Sodom and Gomorrah. Emmer Pharo derives his name from the pharaoh of Egypt.

Emmer Faro (swollen thick wheat), an ancient strain of wheat, was one of the first grains ever domesticated in the Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East and served as the standard daily ration for Roman armies, according to the Boston Whole Grain Board. High-yielding wheat strains replaced the emir by the beginning of the 20th century with the exception of Ethiopia where they still make up about 7% of the wheat grown in that country, according to the council.

Hayden Floor Mills, Queen Creek, Arizona offers emmer farro berries, emmer farro flour and emmer farro biscuits. The grains are encased in a tough outer shell, or hull, and are low in gluten and high in protein with a nutty flavor, according to the company. Whole berries can be boiled and added to cereal dishes, salads and soups. Farmhouse porridge with cracked emmer farro makes a cream of grain similar to wheat while emmer flour may add texture and fiber to baked food and the flour can be baked into cookies, quick breads (such as banana bread), crackers and pie crusts, according to Hayden Flour Mills.

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