November 24, 2014
Do you know what farro is? Do you want to go to Taco Bell? If your answer to both questions was “no”, you can read on.
Farro is one of those grains that previously probably only hipsters and like, ancient peeps knew about. However, because it’s clearly not for povos or Walmart shoppers, it’s become the newest betchy grain, as decided by me.
The earliest evidence of farro as a domesticated crop was found near Damascus in Syria, dating to about 7700 BC. That’s like, really old. It was referenced in ancient Hebrew, Greek and Latin sources and was especially important in ancient Egypt – probably as a cheap carb for all that pyramid building. Italy continues to grow a fuck ton of farro and uses it in lots of soups.
Farro has like, a ton of fiber which is good for your already fast metabolism. Also, although it is a grain and technically a carb, it’s a GOOD carb and keeps you fuller longer PLUS allows your energy level to stay stable. Lastly, because it’s full of magnesium, farro has been shown to relieve tension and help gross period cramps.
Okay so, shopping for farro can be a tiny bit confusing, so let’s break it down:
Farro piccolo: This is actually einkorn and is softer than emmer, and its husk only has one spike.
Farro medio: Technically called emmer, this is “true” farro, and most often what you’ll find in the US. The husk has two spikes, whatever that means.
Farro grande: This is spelt, and it like technically not farro, so let’s ignore it. It looks a lot like farro, but it’s actually a totally different grain and is not interchangeable with farro.
More types: Sooo once you navigate that you want “farro medio” or in Latin “triticum dicoccum,” you need to know that there are a few more varieties.
First, there’s whole farro, which has all the grain’s nutrients but requires a soaking overnight BEFORE you actually cook it. You cook this farro by bringing grains to a boil then simmering for 30-40 minutes.
Secondly, there’s semi-pearled farro which has part of the bran removed and does not require overnight soaking. You cook this farro by bringing grains to a boil then simmering for 15-25 minutes.
Lastly, there’s pearled farro, which takes the shortest time to cook but has no bran at all. Cook this shit the same as the semi-pearled variety, although it may be done closer to 15 minutes than 25.
Farro kind of tastes like a chewy piece of barley, only more cashewy with a tiny bit of spice undertone. It’s super good cooked al dente – same as fucking pasta (which you like, never eat anyway).
Make your farro the way I fucking told you to above, then add it to a lovely baby arugula salad with dried cranberries, feta cheese, and honey balsamic dressing. You can make that by combining 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Enjoy, betch.