Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat that is revered for its nutty taste, toothsome texture, and rich nutritional content. Read on to learn more about the history of spelt and the variety of dishes that it can be used in.
What Does Spelt Taste Like?
Spelt is a whole grain with a sweet, malty taste similar to barley. Spelt cooks into soft, edible grains that have a pleasant chew. Because spelt is a type of wheat, it is not a gluten-free food. Spelt can be cooked like pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente and then drained.
Where Does Spelt Come From?
Today, spelt is grown all over the world, but originally spelt was cultivated in Europe where it has been grown since about 5000 BC. Evidence of spelt consumption can be found in ancient Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Medieval Europe. Spelt was easier to store for long periods of time due to the husk that surrounds the grain, making it a popular foodstuff. Spelt has been grown in the United States since the 19th century.
What’s the Best Way to Cook Spelt?
There are two ways to cook spelt. The first way is to cook it until soft and tender and the other way is to cook it until al dente with a pleasant chew.
1) For chewy tender spelt, combine 1 cup spelt with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until soft, about 1 hour.
2) For al dente spelt (great for salads), combine 1 cup spelt with 2 cups water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain well.
Use your spelt in salads or soups. We love spelt in place of farro in this Chicken and Tomato Stew recipe. You can find whole spelt or spelt flour in most grocery stores, but if you have trouble tracking it down you can always order it online.