Garfagnana (province of Lucca) is probably the only area in Tuscany where spelt has always been cultivated.
Originally, the “Farro della Garfagnana” was grown in small plots of land in the mountains and, over the centuries and with the intensification of corn and rice cultivation, it took a back seat to the most widely used crops. The cultivation of Garfagnana spelt was rediscovered and cultivated in greater quantities from the 1970s following indications from the Tuscany Region that it was at risk of possible genetic erosion. Thanks to the active intervention of the Mountain Community of Garfagnana, Garfagnana spelt obtained European recognition of Protected Geographical Indication in 1996.
The grain has obvious whitish streaks and a predominantly floury consistency. It is sown in autumn – the crops do not need to be treated at all – and is harvested the following summer. Sowing takes place as it would for wheat, sown by hand or in rows. The final processing step is the removal of the husk that serves to separate the glume from the caryopsis to obtain the typical speckled grain.
The Garfagnana spelt differs from other varieties of spelt for the fact that it has a larger grain and is more resistant to cooking. It is rich in vitamins, mineral salts and starch, it has been rediscovered for its excellent properties and high fibre content.
It is an ideal ingredient for the preparation of traditional dishes such as spelt soup, a typical Garfagnana dish. It goes very well with beans and pulses. The flour that it produces is used to make the typical Garfagnana bread, unmistakable for its texture and flavour.