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ISO: farro

is it easy to find?
i've never encountered it.

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  1. I've bought it at Lady York and Fiesta Farms. Any Italian grocer/supermarket should carry it. Grande Cheese should have it, as well.

    1. Rubes has it at the St Lawrence Mkt

        1. re: naturalflavor

          You must have read the article in The Star the other day :)

          1. re: millygirl

            I haven't read the article. Was it any good?

            The last time I bought farro from Costco was sometime last year.

            1. re: naturalflavor

              I found it online as I was curious which article millygirl was referring to: http://www.thestar.com/living/food/ar...

        2. I found it at two small Italian shops on the Danforth -- Masellis (890) and Jerry's Supermarket (1398). Also Fiesta Farms.

          1. I think "farro" is being used as a (currently trendy) marketing term. There certainly isn't a specific type of grain universally called farro. Most Italian markets stock something labeled farro, which seems to be similar to spelt (if not the same). The word "spelt" has "health food" implications; "farro" doesn't, making it more appealing.

            You can use farro, spelt, and wheat berries of a similar type (e.g., whole, pearled/split, toasted) pretty much interchangeably in recipes.You can also use barley in farro recipes, though I wouldn't consider it interchangeable.

            3 Replies
            1. re: embee

              Hate to disagree with you, embee, but true farro is emmer wheat, not spelt; it's a more ancient grain. I believe the "farro" imported from Italy is, indeed, the real stuff and not spelt. It also does not need to be cooked as long as wheat berries to soften up.

              1. re: embee

                Read the above article if you haven't already embee.

              2. Pasta Mia, basement level of St Lawrence market carries the real stuff (from Italy). And yes, it is common for vendors to refer to farro and spelt interchangeably. They are very similar but, I find, texturally, farro (which is pearled) is more delicate than spelt.

                1. I buy a brand of farro called Pantanella. The box is definitely confusing -- the product is called, in big lettering, "Farro in chicchi," but below it's marked "100% Spelt-Epeautre-Dinkel-El farro" (English, French, German and Spanish "translations").

                  I'm able to understand the Italian instructions for Zuppa di farro on the back of the box and it calls for cooking the farro in the soup for about 30 minutes, which is about the amount of time I cook farro when making a pilaf.

                  Both spelt and wheat berries take at least an hour to cook, which suggests to me that this brand of imported "farro" is, indeed, the real thing.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Tatai

                    I don't know anything for sure, and the label you describe compounds my confusion - farro, spelt, and dinkel as synonyms plus emmer (mentioned above). I recall being served "emmer" and "dinkel" as a child, but they didn't make much of an impression. We never had "spelt" or "wheat berries".

                    What I remember as "emmer" was what some people called "farfel". Farfel (I suspect you agree) is a small pasta and not an ancient grain. Dinkel was different,but I don't recall specifics - I think it was served as a cereal.

                    The timing is also not definitive. Differently processed wheat berries have different cooking times and farro seems to come in whole, pearled, and toasted forms. I did a bit of research before posting this - if anything, it left me more confused than before.