Saturday, August 13, 2011

Farro- My New Found Food Friend

Farro.  If I say it with my best Italian accent it sounds completely dreamy.  It is dreamy as far as grains go.  Calling food magnificent can be and over exaggeration, but I was so impressed with Farro I had to share my discovery.  Farro is far from a new grain.  It is an ancient heirloom grain that was fed to the Roman Legions centuries ago.  Sometimes you don't know what you're missing until you discover a new found, almost long lost food of days gone by.  Over the years, farro lost its popularity when higher yielding grains were developed.  Even years ago, humans wanted quick, fast results and therefore give up on something great for something mediocre.  Sad, but true.  Although it was almost a lost treasure, farro was reintroduced by farmers of the French Haute Savoie who supplied to it uspcale restaurants.  Recently, it is now increasing in popularity among health-conscious epicures in addition to experiencing a resurgence in Italy.

Farro has a firm, chewy texture and nutty flavor.  I've used it in salads and side dishes.  It can also be added to soups and stews.  Farro's nutritional makeup far exceeds that of its distant relative, wheat.

According to 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet:

"Farro is a whole grain that is an excellent source for complex carbohydrates. Additionally, farro has twice the fiber and protein than modern wheat. Different than some other whole grains, a carbohydrate in farro called cyanogenic glucosides has been found to stimulate the immune system, lower cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels. While farro does contain gluten, the gluten molecules are weaker than modern wheat, making it more easily digested."

I purchased my farro at Whole Foods.  It is produced by Montebello, grown at Monastero di Montebello.  Doesn't that just have a romantic ring to it?  I'm in food passion love with farro.  Crazy I know since I rarely eat grains, but if you're going to fall off the paleo wagon, farroland is a good landing spot.

According to the package, 1/4 cup of farro (dry) has:

150 calories
1 gram fat
0.5 grams saturated fat
0 grams trans fat
0 mg cholesterol
10 mg sodium
32 grams total carbohydrates
2 grams dietary fiber
1 gram sugar
6 grams protein

So, that's the scoop on farro.  Next post I'll share The Organic Roman Farro Salad Recipe.  So Delish!

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