Waldkorn® Ancient Grains

Authentic bread varieties with the rich, unrivalled taste of ancient grains.

True ancient grains are making a real comeback at the moment. Here is a small introduction.


Einkorn (Triticum monococcum) is the oldest known grain in the world. It is the ancestor of emmer, wheat and spelt.

Einkorn is a wild grass hybrid that originated 10,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. It is the very first grain ever cultivated. When our ancestors moved from hunting to farming, einkorn was the first grain they chose out of all the wild grasses.

Thanks to its hardy nature and its ability to grow in soil that is poor in nutrients, einkorn has long been the most popular grain in the world. Because the kernels are covered in a tough hull, they require husking before being ground. This is a very time-consuming job, which is why einkorn’s popularity gradually waned.

Einkorn has a unique, slightly nutty taste that is perfect for making exquisite bread.

Did you know that...
Ötzi, the famous prehistoric man who lived about 5300 years ago, still had some einkorn in his pockets and stomach when he was found?


Emmer (Triticum dicoccum) is a hybrid of einkorn and a type of wild grass. Unlike einkorn, emmer produces two kernels in each spikelet.

Emmer originated about 8000 years ago. It is assumed that it then spread from the Fertile Crescent, a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East from Egypt to the Persian Gulf. Emmer is considered the forefather of present-day common wheat. Greek historian Herodotus wrote about emmer in the 5th Century BC: "For the ancient Egyptians, only emmer grains were good enough to make bread.” Like einkorn, emmer grains are covered in a tough husk.

Bread made with emmer has a darker colour and a lovely, strong taste. It is extremely nutritious and exceptionally tasty.

Khorasan wheat

Khorasan wheat (Triticum turanicum) is probably a hybrid of emmer and durum wheat.

This ancient grain originated about 6000 years ago. The name Khorasan refers to the wheat’s historical roots in Persia.

Khorasan gives baked products a rich, nutty flavour. It contains 20 to 30% more protein than common wheat.
Khorasan is also a great substitute for regular wheat in pizza or pasta.
It reacts like rye when processed, particularly during kneading. 

Ancient rye

Ancient rye (Secale multicaule) is the oldest known forefather of modern rye. It is related to wheat and barley.

Ancient rye originated about 7000 years ago in the Middle East and then spread to the northwest. Because it is weather resistant and hardy, it became very popular.

As ancient rye was sown in open areas in the forest, it is also known in some regions as 'bush rye'. Elsewhere it is referred to as Saint John’s rye, as in the olden days it was often sown on 24 June, the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist.

Bread made with ancient rye has a darker colour and a slightly sweet, somewhat earthy taste. Ancient rye exudes a remarkable aroma during baking and the very small kernels give the product a slightly sweet taste. 

Fiss imperial barley

This ancient barley is one of the oldest barley varieties.

Its name refers to the Austrian municipality of Fiss in Tyrol, where this near-extinct type of barley is now being cultivated again. This type of barley grows better at an altitude of 1500 m than in lower areas.

Fiss barley is rich in protein and has a subtle malt aroma and an earthy, nutty flavour.

Bauland spelt

Spelt is a hybrid of emmer and wild grasses.

Spelt originated in Mesopotamia and then spread to Europe. Hildegard von Bingen, a canonised Benedictine abbess (1098-1179), praised spelt as a "universal medicine" and "the best grain". However, as with other grains, spelt’s yield was rather low in comparison with wheat. Interest in this grain variety has grown again since the rise of sustainable agriculture.

This variety is one of the few pure spelt types and is grown in the Bauland region in Germany.

Bauland spelt is an easily digestible grain with a sweet, nutty taste. 

Ancient grains grown exclusively for and by Waldkorn®

Ancient grains like einkorn, emmer, Khorasan and ancient rye are the ancestors of our modern grains. Not only do they taste delicious, they are also pure and sustainable. These grains thrive in poorer soils and are naturally more resistant to diseases. As a result, they demand less intensive agriculture, which is good for the planet. And for you! Although these grains were grown extensively in the past, their popularity gradually waned. They had lower yields, were associated with higher harvest risks, and demanded more intensive work than our modern grains. Now, Waldkorn® is bringing back this rich tradition of these ancient grains.

Waldkorn® works exclusively with farmers in Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary for its ancient grains. The ancient grains emmer, ancient rye and einkorn are cultivated there exclusively for Waldkorn® on specially selected fields. That is how we ensure the quality of our grains.

Interested in knowing more about the background of our grains?

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