Farro (Spelt) and Sausage Soup - Zuppa di Farro e Salsiccia
Zuppa di Farro e Salsiccia - Farro (spelt) Soup with Sausage
Farro - Spelt is one of the most ancient whole grains known to man. The earliest cultivation of this power grain is known to have been common in Mesopotamia, but it was also found in the tombs of Egyptian kings, and became the Roman legions' diet as they were fueled by this grain. It quickly spread throughout the Roman Empire and in many areas of the ancient world. Although over time it disappeared, this grain survived over the centuries in Italy. Today it is vastly cultivated in several parts of of the peninsula, but more specifically in Garfagnana, Tuscany.
Farro is a grain loaded with proteins, rich in fiber and iron. As a wheat grain, it is not gluten-free. Interestingly farro is almost completely fat free making it a perfect choice for a healthy heart choice diet. This small grain has a delicious nutty flavor and when cooked, each bite is accompanied by a very pleasant chewy texture.
Farro is a very versatile grain as it can be prepared as a "risotto", accompanied in soups, made into flour, prepared as a cold salad or simply made into a very nutritional and delicious side dish, drizzled with good olive oil.
Are Farro and spelt the same thing? There are many opinions and ideas as to the difference between the two grains. Following is what we have concluded. We would love to hear your opinion. In Italy this ancient wheat is classified in three groups. Commonly they are known as:
Farro piccolo (small),
Farro medio (medium), and
Farro grande (large).
Triticum monococcum (einkorn) Farro piccolo - the most ancient wheat - grows on a very small plant, with small leaves and a small, soft grain.
Triticum dicoccon (emmer) Farro medio - is the species that is more diffused in the Mediterranean area and the plant and seed are larger in size.
Finally the Triticum spelta (spelt) Farro grande - is more widely used in the northern part of Europe and US and the seed is more adapt to making flour.