The Modern Ancients

Last year, we introduced our elegant and healthy line of organic Allessia Zuppa’s, Risotto’s and Polenta with such success we eagerly continued our work towards expanding the line. Since we find that no matter how modern our world becomes, we can only benefit by pulling morsels of wisdom from the past, we are happy to introduce Allessia’s new line up of ancient grains.

Allessia Ancient GrainsRight off the bat we knew we wanted to include Riso Nerone to the line as it has long been on our radar due to our learning about the many health benefits of black rice. We also knew we wanted to include Farro, Europes most important heritage grain that many of us have come to know and love in soups and minestrones. (Alongside our dreams of living in Tuscany with a view of the rolling hills and towering cypress.)

Einkorn Farro vs Emmer FarroBut as we researched we were surprised to find out that there is a general misconception about Farro being the same as Spelt. To be clear, Farro is actually Emmer wheat, which is the worlds 2nd most ancient form of wheat. But this brought up the question: If Emmer is second, what came first? Enter Einkorn. Notice the difference between Einkorn vs Emmer in the above photo. Einkorn is a small & flat kernel while Farro (Emmer) is larger, longer and more stout.

Einkorn SoupWhat is Einkorn? Einkorn grew as wild grasses for millions of years until cultivation of it began by the peoples living in the lands of the Fertile Crescent over 10,000 years ago. In contrast to our modern day wheat, Einkorn has never been cross pollinated with any other species so it has only 14 chromosomes (2 sets of 7) vs Emmer at 28 (4 sets of 7), and Spelt, Kamut, Durum & other modern wheat at 42 chromosomes (6 sets of 7). It has been said that the less chromosomes, the easier on digestion.

Einkorn SoupWe’ll let you be the judge. All you have to do is taste! And timing couldn’t be more perfect with the recent arrival of our 2014 shipment of Frantoi Cutrera’s new harvest olive oil. The experience of eating this most ancient & purest of grains, paired with the golden oil of freshly milled olives from Sicily, is poetic in it’s simplicity and sings with flavor that is no less than sublime in it’s subtlety.

Simply cook some up in water & sea salt to taste. Add a drizzle of Frescolio and you will find out how simplicity can be the truest test of taste & goodness. Try some soon as you can be sure that we will be posting more recipes and information on these versatile ancient grains regularly. Buon Appetito!

About the Author:

I am a little of a great many things. Every experience and every blessing. And even though the whole may be greater than the sum of it's parts, welcome to this little part of me I call "Ita-liana." Raised in an Italian grocery store/food importing company (which explains why wine and olive oil runs through my veins) this is the part of me that is the very best of my Sicilian and Calabrian roots. Watching my Calabrese mother and grandmother cook for the entire family, with not only expertise and ease, but with an over abundance of love, left it's mark. Travelling back to Italy and learning about family history did the rest, while my Sicilian side kicks in almost intuitively. * © All recipes, photography, illustrations on posts by "ita-liana" and "Recipideo" video content copyright Liana Tumino ©