Origin and evolution of farro

“Farro” is the common name that we use to call hulled wheat.

It was the first wheat to be cultivated by men over 10 thousand years ago in the Fertile Crescent area (between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Palestine).

It is different from the most known bare wheats (common and durum wheat) because during threshing the caryopsis do not separate from the glumelle (outer shells of the grain of farro), keeping the grain protected until the end.


There are 3 species of farro:

  • einkorn  (Triticum monococcum);
  • emmer  (Triticum dicoccum);
  • spelt  (Triticum spelta).

The name “farro” is used for emmer wheat, which is the most common species in Italy and in the Mediterranean basin.

Einkorn wheat has long been cultivated only in sporadic areas and only recently it has been reintroduced into cultivation also thanks to the research we have made.

Spelt wheat, on the other hand, is mainly cultivated in Northern Europe.
All the three species of farro have the nutritional characteristics of cereals:

  • they represent the energy basis of food thanks to the starch content,
  • they give a good content of protein,
  • they contain unsaturated fats and vitamins.

Farro (emmer in particular) differs from common and durum wheat for some specific characteristics such as the higher content of mineral salts and the richness in beta-glucans.


First cultivations of cereals date back to the Neolithic period, in the ​​origin aerea of the wheats, the Fertile Crescent (the area between Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq), when the agricultural system changed from pastoral to permanent, thanks to the beginning of cereals cultivations.

Wild einkorn wheat is considered the progenitor at the beginning of this long and complex process, which began over 10,000 years ago; the cultivated einkorn wheat will be derived from it.

For this reason we consider einkorn the father of all cereals.
The cultivation of farro has been handed down until today over the 10 thousand years that separate us from the Neolithic period.

It is the first cereal to be cultivated and used by men over 10,000 years ago.

It is the most widespread species of farro in Italy, where its history dates back to Roman times.

It is the species of farro genetically closest to common wheat and it has spread particularly in the countries of Northern Europe.

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