Farro - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Farro is an ancient grain having originated in the Mediterranean and Near East. It seems to be the world's oldest cultivated grain, from which all modern grains are derived. Farro, also known as "Emmer wheat", has been a staple grain for hundreds of years, but it fell out of favor as other grains became easier harvest and less expensive to produce. It wasn't until the 1980s that farro experienced a resurgence, due to its use in the soups and dishes of famous French and Italian restaurants. Today Farro is mostly produced in Northern Italy. Farro looks like a short-grain brown rice, but once cooked, it retains a chewy texture and nutty flavor. Farro may be cooked ways similar to other grains by boiling in water until the grain has softened.

Farro is available in whole, pearled and semi-pearled varieties. The pearling process removes the inedible husk and all of the germ and bran. Semi-pearled Farro retains some of the germ and bran. Much of the nutrition in Farro resides in the germ and the bran, where high amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals are stored. Whole Farro is processed in a way that leaves the bran and germ intact, helping it retain its high nutritional content, and semi-pearled Farro is nutritious as well since it retains some of the bran. Pearled and semi-pearled Farro are more tender and cook much faster than whole Farro (approximately 30 minutes versus approximatel 1 hour), because pearled and semi-pearled Farro have a portion of the outer bran removed. Farro is also available in a "cracked" format, which is basically whole Farro cracked into pieces.

Farro and Your Nutrition
The nutritional benefits of farro are many. Farro is high in fiber, low in cholesterol, and a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Farro is also low in gluten which makes farro a favorable choice for those with allergies.

Cooking With Farro
Farro is a versatile grain that can be used to make pasta, biscuits, soups, breads and salads. Farro can also be used to make flour for all your favorite sweets. Contrary to popular belief, Farro does not need to be soaked overnight. It can be simmered just like whole wheat rice and is typically used in soups with bran. igourmet sells Organic Farro imported from Italy in convenient 500 gram pouches.

To find the best gourmet foods and gift baskets online, begin your search at igourmet.com.