Rif Einkorn Wheat

Morocco

Cereals and flours

Back to the archive >
Rif Einkorn Wheat

For centuries, local communities in Morocco’s northern mountains have been growing a very hardy variety of ancient wheat, Rif einkorn (Triticum monococcum).
This area, known as Jbala, covers most of the western and central Rif Mountains. Remote and hard to reach, it is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot due to its impressive concentration of plant and animal varieties, as well as different cultures.
The einkorn has long been a staple in the local diet, but also has many other uses. In the past, the long, tough stalks were used to roof traditional stone houses (these days, sheets of metal are more often used). Some villages are still known for their skillful crafting of donkey and horse saddles stuffed with einkorn straw.
The cultivation of the variety, which is now primarily grown for family consumption, does not involve the use of weedkillers and fertilizers and irrigation is rarely needed. The seeds are produced by the farmers themselves. The spikes contain very hard, small grains, yellow or hazelnut-colored. The harvest takes place between the end of July and the start of August and is traditionally carried out manually. The women use a scythe to cut the spikes and gather them into bundles. The cuttings left in the field are then collected for use as straw. Nowadays the einkorn can also be harvested mechanically, but this means the straw cannot be recovered. The next step is the removal of the husk, which is such a laborious operation that the einkorn is also known locally as chqalia ( “the pain is for me”). It takes around an hour of work to produce a kilo of seeds.
Rif einkorn is used in various traditional recipes: The grains are cooked in soups, while the flour is used to prepare pasta (m’hamsa), pancakes (baghrir) and a bread with a sweet, nutty flavor. The toasted einkorn is also used as a coffee substitute.

  • Hai imparato qualcosa di nuovo da questa pagina?
    Did you learn something new from this page?

  • YesNo
Back to the archive >
Farmers have gradually abandoned this native variety, due to its low yield and very slow growth cycle (almost a year) and the laborious processing it requires. As a result, high-yielding hybrid grains have become more common in the area and einkorn, along with other local grains, is now at risk of extinction. The local Slow Food community (Taounate Rhafsai) has for years been supporting the producers that want to return to growing einkorn; a threshing machine has been available to all the local producers. The Presidium, funded by the Slow Food community Il giardino di Roberta and the Slow Food convivium Colli del Valdarno Superiore, aims to promote not only this heritage variety but also all the local biodiversity.

Production area
Bni Amar, Talilit, Betha, Hazdour, Al Mounia and Laanouniin villages, Kissane commune, Taounate province

Supported by
Slow Food Community Il giardino di Roberta
Slow Food Convivium Colli del Valdarno Superiore
Mohamed Tayeb Azennoud
Douar Bni Amar

Rachida Belkhadir
Douar Bni Amar

Souhad Azennoud
Douar Bni Amar

Said Berrada
Douar Talilit

Lyamoudi Abdellah
Douar Betha

Mohamed Khalfouni
Douar Hazdour

Mohammed Chillali
Douar Hazdour

15 producers in the villages of Al Mounia and Laanouniin
Presidium Coordinator
Souhad Azennoud
President of Coopérative Ariaf Kissane
Tel. +212 676889030
sazennoud@gmail.com
Farmers have gradually abandoned this native variety, due to its low yield and very slow growth cycle (almost a year) and the laborious processing it requires. As a result, high-yielding hybrid grains have become more common in the area and einkorn, along with other local grains, is now at risk of extinction. The local Slow Food community (Taounate Rhafsai) has for years been supporting the producers that want to return to growing einkorn; a threshing machine has been available to all the local producers. The Presidium, funded by the Slow Food community Il giardino di Roberta and the Slow Food convivium Colli del Valdarno Superiore, aims to promote not only this heritage variety but also all the local biodiversity.

Production area
Bni Amar, Talilit, Betha, Hazdour, Al Mounia and Laanouniin villages, Kissane commune, Taounate province

Supported by
Slow Food Community Il giardino di Roberta
Slow Food Convivium Colli del Valdarno Superiore
Mohamed Tayeb Azennoud
Douar Bni Amar

Rachida Belkhadir
Douar Bni Amar

Souhad Azennoud
Douar Bni Amar

Said Berrada
Douar Talilit

Lyamoudi Abdellah
Douar Betha

Mohamed Khalfouni
Douar Hazdour

Mohammed Chillali
Douar Hazdour

15 producers in the villages of Al Mounia and Laanouniin
Presidium Coordinator
Souhad Azennoud
President of Coopérative Ariaf Kissane
Tel. +212 676889030
sazennoud@gmail.com

Territory

StateMorocco

Other info

CategoriesCereals and flours