Einkorn wheat (Triticum monococcum), that is called "the small farro", is the first cereal to be cultivated by men and it has been used for more than 10.000 years.
Einkorn wheat, thanks to spontaneous crossbreeds with other species of Triticum, created most of the grains that we know today (Emmer, Durum wheat, common wheat, and others). For this reason, we can define it, without a doubt, the father of all grains.
Einkorn wheat is particularly rich in antioxidants and bioactive substances, such as lutein and carotenoids.
Compared to other species of farro, Einkorn wheat has a higher content in tocopherols, especially a-tocopherol. This is the most biologically active structure of vitamin E, known for its high antioxidant power.
Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum), that is wheat par excellence, has the basic food characteristics of cereals:
- high content of starch;
- low protein content (gluten);
- good source of fibres;
- unsaturated fats and vitamins in the seed
Emmer wheat is different than common and durum wheats for some particular characteristics regarding a higher content of mineral salts, a more thick aleuronic layer, the richness in beta-glucans.
This is the most widespread species of wheat in the Mediterranean Basin, particularly in Italy, where its cultivation and use evolution goes back to the Romans’ age and it has been handed down until today.
Spelt wheat (Triticum spelta), is called "big farro" for the bigger size of the plant, of the spike and of the caryopsis, than other wheats.
It is the species of farro that is genetically more close to the common wheat and it has spread particularly in northern Europe countries, where it has been cultivated for a long time and it has been used for baker products.
In Italy there are spelt local varieties, in southern Appennine areas, but less than the Emmer wheat.
The first spelt variety of farro was introduced in the mid of 1980s, cultivated in small areas. Other varieties have been introduced from northern Europe, but their cultivation is restricted:a surface not higher than a thousand of hectares is estimated.