Emmer, an ancient hulled wheat, was one of the first cereals ever domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. Emmer grain, holds the characteristics of two wild wheats (including wild Einkorn) and is known to have been the primary wheat grown in Asia, Africa and Europe through the first 5000 years of recorded agriculture. It served as the standard daily ration of the Roman legions. But over the centuries, emmer was gradually abandoned in favor of hulless varieties of durum wheat. By the beginning of the 20th century, higher-yielding wheat strains had replaced emmer almost everywhere, except in parts of Europe and Ethiopia.
Emmer is known as farro or grano farro in Europe and is staging a comeback as a gourmet specialty as both a whole grain and flour. Semolina flour made from emmer is still used today for special soups and other dishes in Tuscany and Umbria, and farro is thought by some aficionados to make the best pastas and artesian breads. Emmer is a delicate long grain with an exceptional full bodied taste.
Emmer appeals to cooks hunting for new tastes and textures and nutrition. It provides a vital alternative to people who suffer from allergies to more common hybridized grains, and it supplies a different range of nutrients than other wheats, corn or rice. It ranges from 13-16% protein and digests quickly. It can be used independently as a whole grain in a pilaf, hot cereal, or the feature in a salad. It is custom milled or cracked to meet your baking and pasta needs.