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Farro


trufflebride
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I have been using Farro lately.. I have added it to a meatloaf, I treated it like risotto, I am making it into a rice pudding type dessert..

Is anyone else cooking with this stuff?

Do you soak it the night before?

What are some of your favorite ways to use this usefull grain.

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I have been using Farro lately.. I have added it to a meatloaf, I treated it like risotto, I am making it into a rice pudding type dessert..

Is anyone else cooking with this stuff?

Do you soak it the night before?

What are some of your favorite ways to use this usefull grain.

I grind it coarsely and cook it like polenta - sometimes I mix it half and half with corn meal.

Sometimes I cook it until very thick, pour it into a loaf pan, chill overnight, then slice and fry on a griddle. This can be served either as a savory side dish or for breakfast with syrup, jam, etc.

If you do prepare this as a side dish, try adding a spoonful of salsa and top with a dollop of sour cream.

Most often I add it to other grains for porridge and also like pilaf. It works well with mixed rices, amaranth, quinoa, barley, etc.

Farro was traditionally cooked this way prior to the adoption of maize from the new world. I think it goes back to Roman times and last year I saw something on the History channel that mentioned it was one of the basic crops of the Etruscans.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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trufflebride, what a great idea for a topic! We were turned onto farro a number of years ago in Lucca. (Need I say Italy?) We had a farro salad that was amazing. Good enough to go back to the same restaurant two more times. It had tiny cubes of zucchini, cherry tomatoes, basil, here is where it gets a little fuzzy (I always think that I am going to remember something, so I don't write it down right away.) scallions/green onion, feta. It had a fresh tasting lemony dressing. We also had farro done risotto style with fresh porcini mushrooms. Thick slices of fresh porcini mushrooms. Ya gotta love Italy!

I have made a farro soup that also has beans in it. It was really good. I do want to make it again and put in much more farro. Many of the soup recipes I found have a large ratio of beans to farro. I want to play around with that.

I am looking forward to seeing what else people do with that grain.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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Thanks for this topic. I discovered farro a couple of years ago and can't get enough.

I have a farro salad, a farro mushroom soup and a Tuscan farro soup on my blog that are all very good.

I do vary the salad ingredients according to season and finish with a vinaigrette of some sort.

I buy the perlato which doesn't need pre-soaking

Edited by KristiB50 (log)
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I have bought the cheap tinned pre-cooked ("steam cooked") farro.

This stuff http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Valfr...-Wheat/34100011

No need to argue whether 'spelt' is an accurate translation. The producers call it 'farro'.

Its a nice whole grain to add to bread doughs. Especially easy for Peter Reinhart's 'epoxy method'.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I like farro in a vegetable soup, usually with some beans. I regard farro as a lighter substitute for regular wheat berries.

I've been experimenting a lot with grains this past year or so and farro has been a nice discovery.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Farro and Spelt are not the same but are related.

Spelt does not cook as quickly as farro and is better ground and used as one would use wheat flour for baking - it is excellent used this way.

They are both ancient grains from the Mediterranean area but spelt produces a larger crop than either farro or kamut (another ancient grain that was grown in Egypt and the middle east) but nowhere near the output of wheat.

I like the roasted farro and piccolo farro from Anson Mills.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Farro and Spelt are not the same but are related.

...

Yes, and they are often confused - as by Valfrutta's own translator.

Somewhat clumsily, I was trying to say that, despite the translation on the linked retailer's website, I believe this product IS Farro ... ! :wink:

On the manufacturer's own Italian website it is called 'Farro' http://www.valfrutta.com/valfrutta_cottivapore.html ... BUT the English label calls the product (in large letters) 'Spelt Wheat' - and it is left to quite small print on the label to say 'Ingredients: Farro, Water, Salt' :rolleyes:

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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KristiB50, I enjoyed reading your blog, but I was not able to access your farro recipes. Is there a trick that I am unaware of?

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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Farro and Spelt are not the same but are related.

Spelt does not cook as quickly as farro and is better ground and used as one would use wheat flour for baking - it is excellent used this way. 

They are both ancient grains from the Mediterranean area but spelt produces a larger crop than either farro or kamut (another ancient grain that was grown in Egypt and the middle east) but nowhere near the output of wheat. 

I like the roasted farro and piccolo farro from Anson Mills.

Actually spelt is farro, in the sense that farro means hulled wheat (einkorn, emmer and spelt). From a culinary point of view when farro is mentioned it usually refers to emmer wheat, largely due to the promotion of emmer farro in Tuscany, especially Farro della Garfagnana (IGP). It isn't clear what the Anson Mill piccolo farro is from the website (possibly einkorn), but they mention the three types of farro and mention that their roasted farro is Spelt.

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Farro is Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccon).

Spelt is (Triticum spelta) a hexaploid species of wheat.

As I said in my earlier post, they are related (both of the genus Triticum) but not the same.

Wikipedia reference: Spelt

Wikipedia reference: Farro/Emmer

The raw grains behave differently in cooking - I have tried both. They look different and have a different flavor.

I have ground both into coarse meal and into flour. Spelt is easier to grind into flour without clumping.

Farro is "gummier" and clumps easier - from my personal experience I think there is more moisture in the farro.

Cornell University published several extensive studies on the various varieties of wheat and wheat-related grains, including spelt, farro, etc., in the '80s and '90s detailing the characteristics of each, gluten levels, nutritional breakdown and etc. I have a notebook somewhere in my cookbook collection where I saved these - they may be available online by now but I haven't searched.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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For an ancient grain, a surprising amount of confusion. I've had room-temp farro salads at several restaurants and from a deli and they are delicious. Usually the grain is cooked al dente and dressed with a simple lemon and oil, often mixed with some tomato and the usual suspects like a feta-type cheese or whatever. A variation on tabbouli might be a good one.

If I wanted to make some salads, what is the best type of farro to buy and what is the best way to cook it? What is the diff between the roasted and the piccolo from Anson Mills? Which cooks up better for this kind of use?

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For an ancient grain, a surprising amount of confusion. I've had room-temp farro salads at several restaurants and from a deli and they are delicious. Usually the grain is cooked al dente and dressed with a simple lemon and oil, often mixed with some tomato and the usual suspects like a feta-type cheese or whatever. A variation on tabbouli might be a good one.

If I wanted to make some salads, what is the best type of farro to buy and what is the best way to cook it? What is the diff between the roasted and the piccolo from Anson Mills? Which cooks up better for this kind of use?

Either one is fine for salads. I recently got a batch from iGourmet (from Tuscany identified as Perlato) which is "semi-pearled" and frankly I didn't notice a lot of difference in flavor. It reached the al dente stage a bit more rapidly than Anson Mills roasted but otherwise not really that different. I only bought it because I had a gift certificate.

I have found that steaming it produces a nicer texture when used in salads - as you say, like tabbouli or rice salad, tossed with chopped greens, oil and lemon juice or a flavored vinegar.

I picked some fresh kale yesterday, blanched and "roasted" it in a low oven till it was crunchy and tossed it with steamed farro and a raspberry vinagrette. It was very tasty.

A friend who is growing farro on an experimental basis has promised to send me some that is suitable for sprouting (I do a lot of sprouting) and I will try to remember to report back to this topic when I get the results.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Farro is Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccon).

Spelt is (Triticum spelta) a hexaploid species of wheat.

As I said in my earlier post, they are related (both of the genus Triticum) but not the same. 

Wikipedia reference: Spelt

Wikipedia reference: Farro/Emmer

The raw grains behave differently in cooking - I have tried both.  They look different and have a different flavor. 

I have ground both into coarse meal and into flour.  Spelt is easier to grind into flour without clumping.

Farro is "gummier" and clumps easier - from my personal experience I think there is more moisture in the farro.

Cornell University published several extensive studies on the various varieties of wheat and wheat-related grains, including spelt, farro, etc., in the '80s and '90s detailing the characteristics of each, gluten levels, nutritional breakdown and etc.  I have a notebook somewhere in my cookbook collection where I saved these - they may be available online by now but I haven't searched.

"Farro" just means hulled wheat, not that this is simple or straight forward as its Latin root is "Far" refers to emmer, in most cases but hulled wheat in general, and spelt in particular in some instances.The Wikipedia reference that you didn't link to, "farro", mentions they three types, which includes Spelt and the farro from Anson Mills that you buy is Spelt.

If want to ensure getting emmer (farro medio), then you proberly have to buy Farro della Garfagnana (IGP), which is sort of the point of IGP. Usually the vacuum packed Farro della Garfagnana has the species name (mostly mis-spelt :wink: ) written on the label.

This link gives a useful background to farro in generalfarro research

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