Monday, October 04, 2010

My new friend Farro

I've got a new addiction - Farro. It's a grain. I guess there is some debate about what farro is, so I'm talking about the kind that is also called Emmer. It's an old-world grain that is low in gluten and DELICIOUS.

I discovered farro at the Ballard Market. I am a big fan of hot cereal, especially in the fall when it starts to get chilly outside. When I was a kid, my mom used to make 'Little Bear' hot cereal on the weekends and it was delicious. So now that I have a kid, I guess I'm trying to find my way back into that tradition. Except I have no idea what 'Little Bear' cereal actually was (a special blend made by our local coop). I bought some hot cereal from Red Mill a while ago that was just not right. Then I stopped by a booth at the Farmer's Market and got talked into trying their farro.

The farro is grown by Blue Bird Grain Farms in WA. It's fresh and organic, and a family-run farm, so it's a feel-good food. But most important, it's delicious. It's nutty and high in protein and has a nice chewy texture and is just what I was looking for. Unfortunately, after I discovered it, I also discovered that Blue Bird Grain Farms seems to have a monopoly on farro. Other than them, you can only buy expensive imported stuff from Italy. And it seems to also be a yuppie food. A bunch of fancy-pants restaurants in Seattle have started buying farro from Blue Bird Grain Farms and using it in their fancy-pants dishes to impress their fancy-pants clientele. Somehow I am always attracted to the fancy-pants variety of products. So now I am addicted and I am stuck. I will have to be a yuppie. But at least I can buy it at the Farmer's Market (is this also a yuppie thing to do? I can't decide).

Also we have started eating quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) and we really love it. It's also high in protein, totally gluten-free (so good for babies) and cooks super fast. Thanks Aunt Margot for getting us hooked!


uncle bruce said...

Never heard of farro, but we had quinoa this morning. We also like amaranth. We used to find something called "bear mush" at our co-op, which was like cream of wheat and had a cute bear on the box; we still get cream of wheat but can't find that brand. Oatmeal is improved if you add some oat bran. Grits and millet are also in our pantry. We use extra water for the millet so it takes longer to cook. You can also buy "cream of buckwheat" and "N-grain cereal" for various values of N. Oh, and don't forget "buckwheat groats" or kasha, which should be roasted (actually sauteed in a little bit of butter) before being cooked in water. We eat so much cooked cereal that the kids OD'ed on it at an early age and hardly ever eat it themselves.

MJ said...

We tried quinoa with Mia awhile ago, but she was not interested! We had planned on doing couscous to add some texture and variety into her baby foods, but decided that we didn't want that much wheat exposure for her at this point. I'm hoping she gets more excited about the quinoa the next time we try it out!