Dear Prudence, Won’t You Kamut To Play.


I’m all about wheat. I grew up on it. And consequently, to this day, I care not for white bread. Gimme the whole grain.
Imagine then, years later being introduced to another ancient grain called Farro. I took special delight being able to weave that particular grain into my repertoire.
Kamut is another ancient grain. And it is grown here in the United States and other points around the globe. I heard about Alce Nero after a friend had attended a Slow Foods conference in Italy. Everything they do is organic and from Italy.
This is Penne Rigate. Little pencils that are ridged. On the label, you will see “integrale”. This means the whole grain. But they also tell you that it is 100 % Kamut. Cento per cento. I wonder if they will tell how long to cook it. Sometimes the label does’nt tell you. I guess they assume everybody knows how to cook pasta the right way. Unfortunately, most people are not as confident. 8 minutes to cook. It’s takes longer to write this sentence.


My understanding is that Kamut is an old word for wheat from ancient Egypt. It can be traced back to Mesopotamia, todays Irag in the Middle East. I believe, but could be open to correction, that the Khorasan was a region straddling todays Iran and Afghanistan. I’m interested in how food travelled over time. Food history, I suppose. On the label, you will see the words ” bronze die”. The die is the part of the pasta machine where the pasta dough emerges and its cut or shape will be determined. Here the makers removed the previous die and replaced it with die to shape or cut penne rigate. Or ridged penne. There is also a die that allows you make penne with no ridges. And then there is penne zitoni and also pennette. All variations on the form using different dies.
The makers also used a bronze die. Using a bronze die will give the pasta a more rustic look. Some pastas like look like sandpaper. This is good. It gives the pasta tooth, allows your sauce to adhere to the pasta. The industrial alternative is a teflon die. Non-stick. No need to say anymore.


Todays word of the day is……..L’inconfondibile


The astute eye will notice the high protein content of the grain. This is good.


The next step is for me to find some whole grain Kamut. There is none in my pantry. I think it will become a welcome addition to my kitchen and table. A real food with a real story. Love the energy. Thanks for reading.