Emmer (Triticum dicoccum) is the result of crossing Einkorn with wild grasses. It originated about 8000 years ago and is also believed to have spread from the Fertile Crescent. As the successor, Emmer showed stronger resistance to environmental variations and superseded Einkorn. Emmer adds a deliciously darker colour and pleasantly spicy taste to breads, rolls or even pastries.
Emmer also originated about 8000 years ago. It is assumed that like Einkorn, it spread from the Fertile Crescent region. As a crossing of Einkorn and wild grass, Emmer offered a better yield than its predecessors, which contributed to its successful rise.
Emmer’s great spread
From its “birthplace” in the Middle East, the ancient grain spread via Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary to Central Europe. Several sources prove that Emmer could once be found in almost every settlement during the Neolithic period.
As for Einkorn, the end of the Bronze Age also marked the end of Emmer’s predominance. Emmer was replaced with other wheat cereals that were easier to mill and offered better yields. Later, in the territories of the Roman Empire, Emmer was replaced with more fertile and profitable species, such as Spelt Wheat and later with today’s Soft Wheat.
Emmer, now back on the rise
Fortunately, Emmer has been successfully rediscovered recently and thanks to Waldkorn®’s unique system of exclusive farming, we have been able to slowly cultivate original Emmer again.
Family tree of wheat
Emmer was derived from Einkorn and can therefore be considered as Einkorn’s “son”. At the same time, cultivated Emmer is the genetic father of today’s soft wheat, Spelt and even durum wheat, which is by far the most popular choice for making pasta today. If you want to know more, take a look at the fascinating family tree of wheat. Read more >>
Emmer belongs to the family of hulled cereals, which means its grains are enclosed by a solid husk. The husk protects the grain from negative environmental influences, thereby ensuring a longer life of the crop. However, this also makes the processing more time consuming, because every grain needs to be peeled before the milling. Unlike Einkorn, Emmer produces two grains from its rachis and this is why people also refer to it by “Zweikorn” (= two grains or “Tritium Dicoccum”). With a pretty similar phenotype to Einkorn, Emmer’s stalks grow very long. It has only basic nutritional need, which makes the crops ideal for dry, poor soil.
Emmer gives bread, rolls or even pastries a deliciously, slightly darkened crumb colour, while also adding a pleasantly spicy taste to it. Emmer was initially used to make a bran-mash (a prehistoric “porridge”), but also really popular for baking bread. When milled, Emmer turns into a coarser flour, which also adds to its special natural character. Emmer has a high content of carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) It has high amounts of magnesium and zinc.
Waldkorn® works with over 120 farmers, who exclusively cultivate Ancient Grains for Waldkorn®. If you want to know more about the careful cultivation and harvesting process, read more >>