Ancient Rye (Secale multicaule) is the oldest known ancestor of today’s Rye. The species, which is closely related to wheat and barley, is about 7000 years old. Ancient Rye once originated in the Middle East. From there it expanded to the northwest and became very popular due to its weather resistance and durability. Ancient Rye adds a darker colour and a slightly sweet flavour to breads or rolls.
Ancient Rye originated 7000 years ago in the Middle East, from where it continued its northbound road to success.
A rye with many names
Ancient Rye, the ancestor of today’s rye, descended from wild grasses. It flourished extremely well in regions with a wetter and less sunny climate, like North Europe. Since Ancient Rye used to be sown on forest clearings, it is also known as “Forest Bush Rye” or “Wild Rye” in some regions. In other regions it is also referred to as “St John’s Rye”, because Ancient Rye used to be sown on St John’s day (June 24th).
Smaller yield and shrinking popularity
Due to the smaller grains in comparison to conventional rye and a relatively small yield (less than 50% of today’s rye), Ancient Rye dropped in popularity. Despite its obvious advantages, such as its great taste and frost resistance with great cultivation results up to 2.000m, Ancient Rye almost disappeared completely.
Ancient rye, now back on the rise
Fortunately, ancient rye has been successfully rediscovered recently and thanks to CSM’s unique system of exclusive farming, we have been able to slowly cultivate original ancient rye again.
Although the vast majority of all types of breads and rolls in the world are made from wheat (Soft Wheat, Spelt Wheat, Emmer or Einkorn), rye is the second most used bread cereal.
Ancient Rye reaches up to 2 meters in height and usually forms its ears only after the first exposure to frost. One of Ancient Rye’s greatest advantages is its powerful, fine root system, which permeates the entire field. As a result, the deep-rooted plant leaves a perfect soil, which is particularly well suited for subsequent cultivation of vegetables or even other cereals.
Taste the true indulgence of ancient rye
Ancient Rye develops a noticeable aromatic note during the baking process and its very small grains add a slightly sweet flavour to the product. Ancient Rye is mainly processed to wholemeal flour and grits in bread and pastry products.
The protein content of Ancient Rye is over 10%, which is very high. Ancient Rye is also very rich in trace elements as potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc and contains a lot of vitamin B. Also, food made with Ancient Rye can be a delicious and nutritious alternative for person suffering from wheat intolerance.
CSM works with over 120 farmers, who exclusively cultivate Ancient cereals for Waldkorn®.
If you want to know more about the careful cultivation and harvesting process, read more >>