The thousand secrets of farro

Jan 22, 2019 331


Spelt, known to the ancient Romans as far, used to be their most common and best loved cereal up to the first republican period (509-264 BC). After, wheat took its place because of its better yield and lower labor costs. Known since the Neolithic, it is the most ancient type of grain cultivated and used as food by Man. It is mentioned in the Bible, in the Book of Ezekiel, and some has been found in Egyptian tombs.  

The sacred value of spelt was celebrated by the Romans through numerous religious celebrations. Among them, the Fornacalia, held in February, whose name comes from that of the goddess Fornax, “furnace,” and the Carnalia, held in June to honor the goddess Carna. The importance of spelt is also shown by the existence of a specific type of matrimony, the confarreatio, which was the only one to meet specific religious requirements: for instance, only men whose parents wedded with confarreatio could enter religious life.

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