For centuries in Italy there has been a hearty, nutty hot cereal consumed by the poorer sections of the country. The grain primarily used is referred to as "Farro," and is simply a hulled, wheat-like grain that can be used in dozens of different recipes. In the late 90's it made an explosive move into society and became a staple for many foreign cuisine restaurants. Now considered a health food because of its unending benefits, it's worth your time to learn how to cook farro.
Farro - The Italian Essential
How to use the grain known as "Farro" in Italy. Commonly mistaken for spelt, this grain is a bit tricky, but has massive benefits.
First Off, Let Me Be Clear- Farro is NOT Spelt.
Everybody has tried spelt before in some form or another. It's persistent al dente texture makes it perfect for salads makes it impossible to use in hot dishes that call for farro.
So what's the big difference?
Well, spelt has a much higher protein content (11 grams of protein in 1 cup of cooked spelt vs 8 grams of protein in 1 cup of cooked farro) and is much better used as a flour in pancakes, crackers and hearty breads. It takes several hours to cook it down to an edible softness and is nearly impossible to make truly soft and flavorful.
Farro, on the other hand, cooks to a firm pasta-like texture and only takes about 45 minutes to make edible. Learning how to cook farro is a breeze- take your favorite pasta sauce recipe and boil your farro down instead of your pasta and you'll find it a refreshing change.
While spelt us virtually flavorless, farro has a strong nutty flavor that adds richness to your dish instead of detracting from it and requiring additional flavoring.
So Why The Confusion?
Well, it's mostly the fault of the Italian language. Their word for "farro" is "spelt", so, while they have ways of differentiating, they tend to confuse the rest of the world with their recipes. The two grains are more like distant cousins than identical twins, though, and really shouldn't ever be confused.
Warm Farro Breakfast Cereal
Nutty, Rich and Full of Protein.
Prep time 5 min - Total time 50 min
Ingredients for 4 servings
3 cups water • 1.5 cups raw farro • 1 cup cream, soy milk or coconut milk • 1/4 cup honey or brown sugar • 1/2 tsp nutmeg • Your choice of fresh fruits and nuts
Bring water to a boil and add raw farro,honey or sugar and your choice of milk or cream.
Reduce heat and simmer for 25-40 minutes until liquid is absorbed and grain is al dente.
Add nutmeg and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Add fresh fruits and nuts and enjoy!
Just 'cause it's healthy doesn't mean you won't like it...
You might not be someone who shops organic, who prefers to grind their quinoa and barley to make your own multi grain bread and who refuses to eat anything that was produced with any kinds of chemicals or hormones near it, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy this super health food.
Learning how to cook farro can change your life for the better by making your everyday foods seem richer and more flavorful while giving you a huge boost in your vitamin and protein intake. You may love your super processed pasta, as I know I do, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice to occasionally change up your flavor palate.
I hope you give farro a shot- it would be nice if there were a high enough demand for it that it got a little bit easier to find! For now, you might have to settle with an online order, as there are very few places that keep it in stock.
Good luck, and happy cooking!