this is the sicilian flour that we use for our pizza, scacce and baked raviolini dolci or cassatine and also for specialities like pasta and special bread and torta rustica. It comes from the middle of sicily 50 miles away from the city where chef andrea was born. They still use the stone milling process.
It is called russello for the color of the grain that on the sunshine shows up some red shades.
The russello wheat is a centuries-old wheat, which was widespread in Sicily before the Second World War and which is now being rediscovered by some companies attentive to the territory, the environment, traditions and health related to food.
It is a variety that has a reduced production and does not require large quantities of nitrogen compared to more modern and productive cultivars, but which allows to prepare hard-to-eat bread with great digestibility and able to last for many days.
The Russello wheat flour is also excellent for the preparation of sweet and savory baked goods and for pasta.
But why choose ancient grain flours for your table? Here are some (good) reasons:
1) They are not genetically modified in any way
2) They are more rough, less refined
They are processed with stone milling: the flour that is produced is therefore much less refined than that produced with modern grain. Compared to 0 or 00 flour, the nutritional properties present in the grain are much more conserved.
3) They have less gluten
The modifications of the modern grain meant that it became much richer in gluten. The ancient grains, vice versa, maintain a more balanced relationship between the presence of starch and the presence of gluten, containing a smaller percentage.
4) They are more digestible
The lower presence of gluten makes the flour much lighter, digestible and assimilable. Ancient grains are suitable for all types of preparation and are also excellent for supplementing children.
5) Avoid the development of intolerances
The sensitivity to gluten that is found more frequently in recent years, is probably due to an excessive consumption of the modern wheat rich in immense amounts of gluten. The advantage of using ancient grains away, the possibility of developing this type of intolerance.
6) They are more good and precious
The ancient grains have nuances of smells and tastes that the modern wheat has completely lost. If you make bread at home with a flour made from an old wheat (better if using sourdough as natural yeast) you will realize the difference.
7) Small producers are helped
The rediscovery of ancient grains is mainly due to the small farmers who fight against the competition of the big market every day and still choose to produce quality grains, even if this is not always convenient for them. This is why they should be helped by buying their products.
8) Historical and cultural value
Along with the value of biodiversity, their historical and cultural value is equally important. To be protected, so as not to lose the richness of our traditions.