My friend Myra Klockenbrink, who will soon graduate from the Integrative Nutrition Institute, has introduced me to a new whole grain (actually, it’s a very ancient one): farro!

“Farro (pronounced FAHR-oh) was one of the first grains known to man and kernels have been discovered in Egyptian tombs,” writes Italian food expert Michele Topor. “For centuries, this ancient unhybridized form of wheat has been grown throughout the Mediterranean basin. Farro gave rise to the Italian word for flour, farina. It was the standard ration for Roman Legions that expanded through the Western World.”

Ask for it at your local health food store. It cooks up like rice or barley, is wonderful in soups, and has a stick-to-your-ribs quality. We ate it last night as a side dish with a bit of sea salt and organic butter. I could see it as a breakfast cereal with milk, currants, ground flax seed, and maple syrup. Or as a cold salad. Here’s a farro with tomatoes and herbs recipe.

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