Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >
Dec 27, 2013 02:08 PM

Freekeh-the new quinoa?

I'm searching for freekeh (immature wheat) in montreal. Apparently, it's the new quinoa, although it's not a complete protein, but becoming equally popular. I have been to the Atwater market, and none could be found. Have you had any success? Thank you.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd suggest trying Akhavan, Club Organic, Farhat, Fouvrac, and Zaatar. Or in plainer terms, well stocked middle eastern groceries and high end bulk/health food stores.

    1. I purchased mine at Papillon in Pointe Claire. It was not in bulk goods but in a tube like container. They also have it at the health tree.

      1. I've seen freekeh in Home Sense and Marshall in Canada.

        1. I'd be very surprised if Adonis didn't have it, and as you can see, they have supermarkets in several areas of Mtl and suburbs.

          I've also seen it at Al Khair, a Moroccan store next to Jean-Talon Market; they do also have some Middle Eastern products.

          I think it would probably be cheaper and fresher at a store with a large Middle Eastern clientele.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lagatta

            Adonis has it in the clear 1kg bag, Cedar (or was it Phoenecia?) Montreal generic import brand. It's not bad, but the freeked from the Levant that come in boxes are better. You can find them downtown at al-Mizan (DeMaisoneuve and St Mathieu). Al-Ard from Palestine (west bank) is quite good, as is the other one in the box from Jordan (whose name I forgot), both are a little better than the former, in the same manner that wine from a smaller private vintner will tend to be better than that from a big negociant.

            On rare occasions, Adonis served freekeh in its deli, with roasted quails. That was the best dish they've served there (along with the stuffed eggplants in tomato sauce). They prepared the freekeh combined with rice, roughly 50-50, which is an approach that is more commonly done in Lebanon.

            One good thing about imported middle eastern freekeh is that almost all of it is GMO and pesticide-free, it's organic grade without carrying the label, which is a good thing as modern wheats might increase sensitivity to gluten.

            One word of caution about freekeh, it is by nature an artisanal product, the wheat berries are laid on the ground and flame-torched by hand, so you might come across the occasional small pebble (which would invariably be at the bottom of the pot, settling during the cooking process). You can see the process in the video I've linked in a previous discussion about Damas:


            I'll post a basic freekeh recipe if anyone is interested.

            It's kind of surprising that freekeh hasn't broken through sooner in N. America, it's a magnificent cereal dish, much tastier than quinoa, one of the lesser-known gems of levantine cuisine, and a very healthy dish at that. One of the most amazing seasonal treats in the middle east is freekeh with roasted spring lamb, done right after the green wheat is harvested in springtime, when its wonderful bouquet and smokiness shines through.

            1. re: lagatta

              I have bought some from Boucherie Al-Khair. The butcher suggested it with lamb shanks and it was delicious.

            2. Hello MTLjam: I'd be very interested in your recipe. Thank you for your detailed description.