Ancient Grains are New Again
The New York Times has joined in on the intrigue of the new ‘it’ heirloom grains. Chefs of New York’s high-end restaurants are aiming at going completely local, and these little-known, niche-grains and cereals are helping them do the trick.
Chefs’ newfound love for ancient and heirloom grains is a natural progression from their obsession with all things local, sustainable and authentic. Why serve the heritage pork loin and heirloom radicchio next to pappardelle made from plain commodity flour, especially when local emmer flour grown and ground on a small farm creates a better narrative on the plate?
Not only are these grains great and versatile for original recipes, but they also provide new flavours and variety to conventional flours and grains as well as healthier nutritional values and less gluten (or none at all).
But since then, groups as disparate as small-scale farmers, artisanal bread bakers and people looking to reduce gluten in their diets began seeking them out, and interest spread. Prehistoric wheat varieties, including spelt, emmer and einkorn, are reaching the fringes of the mainstream, along with other formerly marginalized grains like buckwheat groats, kamut, rye berries, sorghum, unpearled barley and triticale, a rye and wheat hybrid.
Click here to read the entire article (in PDF format).
Image source: Andrew Scrivani for the New York Times