The PGI of Emmer Wheat in Garfagnana


A part of Italy only known by food experts; Garfagnana. Where Emmer Wheat comes from, which is the oldest of all known crops. In recent years though, the crop has had a bit of a resurgence, and is on plates again, not only in Tuscany, but all of Italy.

The unexpected rebirth of this product has steadily increased in the places where the product is farmed. Emmer can only really be grown in Garfagnana but has taken, over the years other newer characteristics, which has been due to the massive changes in the land, because of this, in 1996, the Emmer from Garfagnana was given the certification of PGI*. The PGI certified Emmer Wheat from Garfagnana is grown in the hilly areas surrounding Lucca, it is grown without the use of chemical products, or any other herbicides and pesticides.

The Emmer of Garfagnana, is extremely tasty, and has very special nutritional elements. Rich in starchy fibres and poor in amino acids. Emmer has great quantities of vitamins and salted minerals like phosphorus, sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper and cobalt; as well as a high content level of selenium and phytic acid which is a powerful detox agent. Something to help us have a long, healthy life.

Traditionally Emmer is prepared like most other cereals and wheats, ground, either alone, or with other cereals, and used to prepare pasta, bread and biscuits. After its recent revival Emmer has however gone on to be used for a number of rice based dishes, like risotto, small starter dishes and cold salads. What else goes with this kind of rice? How about Porcini mushrooms, another great product from the forests around Garfagnana, as well as, naturally, a small drop of beautiful red wine.

*PGI – which is IGP in Italian, is an abbreviated term for “Protected Geographical Indication” and is a certification given to certain products to protect them of their geographical origins, helping defend local economies which rely on the authentic and genuine rearing and growth of these foodstuffs.

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