Farro is a type of hulled wheat grain, typically used in salads, soups, pilafs, desserts and side dishes.
It is mainly produced from emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum) but can also be produced from spelt wheat (Triticum spelta L.). Farro produced from Emmer wheat is referred to as ‘True Farro’ and is the preferred grain.
Farro can also be produced from a third wheat species, Triticum monococcum (Einkorn Wheat). The Italians, refer to farro produced from T. monococcum, as faricella, or ”little farro’. It is less expensive, of less superior quality and takes several hours to cook.
The grains I buy from the Bulk Barn Store in Canada are from Emmer wheat, (Triticum dicoccum). They are light brown in colour and are semi-pearled.
Farro is not gluten free although it has less gluten compared to the bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Why is Farro referred to as hulled wheat?
Hulled wheats like emmer and spelt and einkorn, have a tough hull (husk) enclosing the grain, which must be physically removed before the grain is milled or cooked.
Removing the hull (husk) is a physical task that requires time, effort and labour. Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L), or Durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.), on the other hand, can be easily threshed before milling.
Where is Farro Grown?
Farro produced from Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum) is mostly grown in Italy, where it has been used for years. (New York Times) So if you buy imported Farro from Italy it will mos likely be from Emmer wheat.
Spelt wheat is much more commonly grown in Germany and Switzerland (WIKI)
Culinary Use of Farro
Whole or semi-pearled Farro is boiled and used as a side dish or to prepare hot or cold salads. It’s also used in soups or stews.
It’s used to produce pasta.
Nutrition Facts for Farro
100g (3.5oz) Farro provides 340 calories and contains the following:
Fat: 2g (saturated 0g, trans, 0)
Carbohydrate: 64g (sugar 2g, Fibre 10g);
Recommended Daily Allowance. (RDA)
Minerals: Iron 8% and Calcium (4%);
Vitamins: A (8%) and C ( 4%)
Source: Bulk Barn
How to Cook Farro
Whole grain Farro can vary in cooking time depending on its age and where it’s sourced. The grain should be soaked overnight. After soaking, It will take 30-40 minutes to cook but will always retain a chewiness like other whole grains (barley, brown rice).
Semi-pearled Farro will cook in about 20 minutes. You will need two cups of water for every cup of grain.