Emmer Wheat or Farro

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Emmer wheat, T. turgidum dicoccum, was probably the second wheat to be cultivated. It grew in warmer climates than einkorn, and became the most important cultivated form from the Near East through northern Africa and Europe until early Roman times, when it was superseded by durum and bread wheats. But pockets of emmer cultivation survived in parts of Europe, and emmer is now widely available under its Italian name, farro. In Tuscany whole farro grains go with beans into a winter soup; the presoaked grains are also made into a risotto-like dish called farrotto.