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where to buy/order Farro?

  • j

I fell in love with the cold farro salad at Tempo, a new restaurant in Brooklyn. Ever since then, I've been trying to find farro so I can make it at home, and I've been unsuccessful-- I've even tried Trader Joe's, a huge Waldbaum's upstate and my local food co-op. which has a lot of grains and bulk foods.

I know it's also known as whole spelt, and have been looking for that as well.

I'm also looking for good farro/spelt recipes...

Does anyone know where I can find farro, either online or in the New York City area?

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  1. You should be able to buy Farro from a really good Italian Deli. We have an A&S here in westchester that sells it. Gourmet specialty stores, Gourmet Garage in the city, Dean & Deluca.
    I make risotto with it and Farro soup with a ham hock(like regular bean soup) You can just boil it til soft and add butter and cheese as a side dish. However, I'm with you I love farro salad and make it all the time in the summer. Kind of like tabouli with cherry tomatoes/cukes/parsley dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. Hope this helps.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Doreen

      yes- most good italian deli's have it- theres lots of A & S fine foods- italian delis around-they also have it-

      my fave way is with lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, and basil- great tastes

    2. Easily available online if you Google it.

      This price is better than Kalustyan's:


      1. Coluccio has it (60th St Bklyn) as well as the umbrian lentils somebody was looking for last week.
        I am sure Kalyustan carries farro too - likely even Sahadi's.

        1. Out in California, whole foods carries it.
          You might want to try something resembling a "hippie" store or co-op or someplace touting natural foods, vegan etc. It will be half of what a trendy Italian boutique will charge for spelt.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Jerome

            Yeah, I was surprised that my co-op--which is as "hippie" as you can get--did not carry it in the bulk aisle (although they have spelt flour, etc).

            1. re: JessicaSophia

              Why not try asking them to order some (this is the PS food coop, right?)

              1. re: jen kalb

                That's a good idea... I actually just learned that they take suggestions for what to stock. (Also on my list is meringue cookies, which I'm surprised they don't carry)

            2. re: Jerome

              Yup! I get it at WF in Los Angeles. It's in the pasta aisle not with the grains.

            3. I usually find farro at Eli's on 3rdAve. and 80th

              1 Reply
              1. re: chazgee

                hi chazgee - had a similar love-at-first-bite experience with tempo's farro and was able to find the elusive little grain in the neighborhood. well, maybe. we can't remember whether we got it at union st. market or fairway in redhook. but it can be found within a few-mile radius.

              2. j

                Thanks, everyone! You've given me hope for finding my new favorite obsession.... hopefully when I make it myself, it will be as toothsome as the dish that I had at Tempo...

                1. r
                  Randy Francisco

                  I have cooked with both imported Italian farro and domestic spelt. Both are great products, but they are not the same, despite what you may have heard. Although it is tempting to substitute with the much cheaper spelt, give the whole grain farro a try, for comparison. It doesn't cook or taste the same. I grind most of my spelt into flour for pasta now. It is unfortunate that the Italian farro seems to run at $10-11/ lb.

                  1. Buon Italia in the chelsea market should carry it

                    1. Anson Mills in South Carolina sells it. I haven't had their farro but if it is anything close to the quality of their grits and Carolina Gold rice, it's worth ordering from them. They grow their products from heirloom seed and use organic production methods for everything they sell. They grind their grits to order and ship them immediately after grinding. They're all about quality.
                      And some farro and other "ancient grains" recipes from them too.

                        1. I've bought farro at Fairway.

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              I am trying to find Farro. I live in the boonies in Wyoming and have been searching for it for some time. I noticed posts stating some have bought it at " Fairway". Do they have a web site? I have not heard of them.
                              By turtlessusan

                                1. re: magiesmom

                                  Fairway is a regional no-longer-so-mini-chain in the metro New York City area. They've expanded by leaps and bounds in the last few years but I don't think they've started doing web/mailorder sales.

                            2. I'm in Texas so my markets won't help you, but as to a recipe, make yourself a" farrisotto". Just like making regular risotto...Cook it in a little olive oil, add saffron-ed stock, ladle-full at a time, cook until al dente, finish with grated parm and a little butter. Great served with occo buco or a crispy roasted chicken. Enjoy.

                              1. In central NJ, I can get farro at Wegman's and spelt at Whole Foods (in both cases in the bulk grains section).

                                Some farro recipes:

                                1. One thing to keep in mind is that there are 3 actual different species that are all called farro
                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farro has a good summary of it.

                                  Anson Mills, mentioned by someone else, is one of the few places I've seen that carries farro piccolo domestically. They're expensive, but I think their farro piccolo is worth checking out. To me, it's not mind-blowingly better than other farro, but it's still pretty good, and the cooking / soaking time required is less.

                                  On a trip to Umbria, I was able to find a store which sells a farro variety which is spelt, but still cooks more quickly. The same place also had some other interesting heirloom grains and legumes, including cicerchie, which is an heirloom grain that looks a little in between a lentil and a chickpea.

                                  Whole Foods usually carries it, if there's one near you -- I sometimes find it with the pasta rather than with the other grains. Here in California, at least, they have the Montebello brand. I assume Eataly would have it too, not to mention any number of other Italian groceries.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: will47

                                    In general, I've found that barley is a pretty decent substitute for farro.

                                    1. re: will47

                                      Another variable - whether it is pearled (polished) or not, and to what degree. If most of the bran has been removed it cooks much faster, and is softer when cooked. Free threshing ( common) wheat with full bran takes much longer to cook, and remains chewy.

                                      Montebello Organic Farro Perlato which cooks with a 15 minute soak, and 20 min cooking is clearly pearled. (Perlato = pearled?) It is, in effect, the wheat version of white rice.

                                      The health food store that I frequent has several kinds of wheat berries (no pearling), plus kamut and spelt, but no Italian style semi-pearled grains (except barley). I have bought pearled wheat from an Middle-eastern market, which cooks relatively quickly. It's a lot cheaper than the online prices that I've seen for farro.