View random article

What Is Farro?

Farro was one of the first ever plants to be domesticated in the Middle East. This particular kind of wheat is a low yielding plant and because of this quality, it has been increasingly replaced in favor of other, more high yielding crops. Farro does remain as a relict species in some of the more mountainous regions in Asia and Europe. Farro has both wild and cultivated variants and in some countries in the world, for instance Italy, it is still considered a popular food.

There is some debate about farro and how different it is from other plant foods like emmer and spelt. Based on the classification of the United States Department of Agriculture, farro is considered the common name for the plant species Triticum aestivum L. subsp. spelta, or spelt, and Triticum turgidum L. subsp. dicoccon, or emmer wheat. There has been a suggestion from some circles that “farro” was a name used in certain parts of Italy as a way of differentiating different wheat types, and because of this, a general confusion began to arise. It should be noted though that when it comes to cooking, farro and spelt are not entirely interchangeable in all recipes. It is still a safer bet to use the grain that is called for in the recipe being followed.

Even though farro is no longer a widely grown plant in many parts of the world, Italy remains a devotee of this food. In fact, Italian farro is quite well known in many areas outside Italy. It is particularly popular in many halth food stores.

Featured in Science