The ancient Sicilian grains are all those varieties that have existed for over a century and were cultivated before the advent of new grains created with genetic modification techniques. Today they are rediscovering thanks to the work of the Experimental Experimental Station of Granicoltura di Caltagirone and of farmers and mills who believe in the rediscovery of the agro-food treasures of our land.
The ancient Sicilian grains have the organoleptic characteristics and flavor that make them ideal to propose a philologically correct traditional cuisine and the health properties that make them necessary in our diet, are the ideal choice for anyone who wants to eat healthy and tastefully.
Sicily is the region of Italy that has the greatest variety of microclimates and soil types. Like a small continent, it contains all the environmental characteristics of the Mediterranean basin. Considered in the past the granary of Rome today has become the granary of Italy. The particular pedoclimatic conditions of the island have allowed the spread of many varieties of wheat, there are more than fifty, mostly hard and semi-hard and a few tender, all with heterogeneous characteristics that represent a valuable part of the biodiversity of agri-food region. The diffusion of modern wheat varieties, with a higher yield per hectare, has led to the gradual disappearance from the fields of traditional wheat populations.
Today, needs related to the taste and rediscovery of tradition and its products have led some farmers, millers and converters to the recovery of ancient varieties of grains, stone mills and ancient recipes to offer consumers traditional products faithful to the flavors of one time.
Thanks to the conservation work of the seeds and the agricultural cultural heritage of the Experimental Consortium of Granicoltura di Caltagirone, it has been possible to repopulate the countryside with the traditional grains that are grown in organic or natural, thanks to their characteristics of rusticity and robustness. Today the milled stone flours of Ancient Sicilian Grains of the Timilia, Russello, Perciasacchi, Margherito, Realforte, Senatore Cappelli and Maiorca populations are now available in our mill and every day tries to increase the offer of native varieties with the intent of a recovery philological of flavors and recipes.
The Timilias, were formerly widespread throughout Sicily, in greater concentration in the province of Syracuse on the border with that of Catania as reported by Ugo de Cillis in his "Frumenti Siciliani" of 1942. Known with the names of Tumminia, Diminia, Tummulia, Riminia, Marzuolo, the Timilia wheat has black or white rasta. The only short-cycle population could be sown in the late period, between the end of February and the beginning of March. It was kept as an emergency grain to be planted in case the conditions of rainfall or drought had not allowed the sowing in autumn or winter of the other varieties. Very productive and resistant to diseases guaranteed a good harvest. The Timilie flour is found in many typical Sicilian bread blends such as the black bread of Castelvetrano that owes its brown color to the presence of Timilia and the bread of Monreale where it was present in variable proportions of 25% or 50% .
Timilia stone flour can be used to prepare baked products.
The products obtained have a characteristic brown color. Famous the bread of Castelvetrano and the breads of Tumminia in widespread purity throughout Sicily, with a particular dark brown color that makes immediately recognizable the products obtained from this flour that thanks to its ability to retain moisture is preserved for many days.
Excellent flour also for the pasta making from which you get products with excellent nutritional characteristics and a pleasant taste on the palate. Tumminia pastes adapt to all prepa- rations.
Today the whole flour of Tumminia is very appreciated for its nutritional characteristics and for its high digestibility. In its technical characteristics it is evident its low strength indicated by the value W.
Russello is a population of durum wheat that spread throughout Sicily in the 1930s. Cultivated in a particular way in the province of Agrigento and Caltanissetta, where it was known by the names: Russulidda, Tangarò, Tangarog, Red Giant, Russia. Rusello is a variety that comes from Russia but we do not know how it comes to Sicily, owes its success to the resistance to tightness and its constancy in production. According to a survey conducted in July 1940 by Montemartini and Ciferri, in the province of Agrigento, Caltanissetta and Enna, the areas of wheat grown at Russello were respectively 38, 67, 37%. The wheat and flour of this variety are valuable and have met the favor of farmers in the central part of Sicily where it replaces local varieties in a few years. Together with Timilia it was found in some fields where it was still cultivated by peasants linked to tradition and who appreciate the quality of the flour.
The Russello flour is recognizable by the light color that varies depending on the trend of the vintages until it becomes almost white tending to reddish due to the presence of the bran that keeps its color constant.It has excellent technological qualities that make it easy to work with a good plasticity and good strength. Russello bread is very appreciated for its taste and for its inviting and persistent aroma, recognizable by the crust of the characteristic reddish color. In some areas of Sicily this grain has not been supplanted by modern varieties.
Russello flour is excellent for the preparation of the dough that is compact and full-bodied, with a pleasant taste that goes well with any sauce and lends itself to all the preparations. Excellent for the preparation of lasagna and cannelloni.Like all old grain flours, even that of Russello is easily digested.
Known as Farro Lungo, Perciavisazzi, Gnolu, Farrone, Settecentanni. We find memory of the cultivations of this population in the early 800s in the "Giornale del Viaggio done in Sicily" in 1809 by Abbot Paolo Balsamo, among the grains grown in the hills he cites the Farro. Unique of the Turanici present in Sicily, De Cillis in "I Frumenti Siciliani" tells us that it was cultivated in the province of Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Syracuse.
From the Perciasacchi wheat you get a high quality semolina, excellent for the preparation of pasta and bakery products such as bread, pizza and brioche.
The doughs of this flour are easy to work with. Perciasacchi flour has excellent technological qualities that make it valuable.
The Realforte also known as Robbaforte is one of the most ancient and precious wheat varieties of Sicily. It was cultivated in low and high hills in the provinces of Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Palermo, Catania; in particular in the territories of Valledolmo and Vallelunga considered centers of this variety. From the "Catalog of Sicilian agricultural products" by prof. Sac. Paolo Cultrera we learn that in the second half of the nineteenth century Realforte was one of the most commercialized grains. His semolina and flour were very sought after for making pasta. In the 40s of the last century it was cultivated in the provinces of Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Mexico, Palermo, Syracuse, as we learn from the Ugo De Cillis.
Flour with a light color and delicate perfume, it has excellent technological qualities that make it suitable for all types of baking: bread, pizza, biscuits. Excellent for the preparation of pasta that is light in color and balanced taste that goes well with condiments.
La Maiorca, one of the few Sicilian soft grains, is found in many areas of Sicily in the early 19th century. It was planted as a third in the rotation, that is after the durum wheat, since it prefers poor lands. It was grown on preferably calcareous and not very rich soils to prevent it from being enticed. Its straw is tenacious and this was not given to animals.
His flour was very sought after for its high quality, with which they produced bread and biscuits. It is not very productive and for this reason it was paid for the same price as durum wheat. It was the only autumn soft wheat grown in Sicily.
Little productive and from the ear without ariste we find it cultivated in the 40s throughout the region as we learn from Ugo De Cillis.
Majorcan flour is clear, almost white. It has excellent technological qualities and lends itself well to the preparation of products for pastry and bakery. Enjoy the bread and pizza of Mallorca in purity or mixed, excellent desserts that are more tasty. Like all ancient grains, whole wheat flour is stronger and the taste of bran is very pleasant. Excellent for the preparation of long leavening products, such as panettone. Today it can very well take the place of 0, 00 or brioche flours with the addition of a noteworthy supply of flavor and nourishment.
The variety of wheat Senatore Cappelli was born at the beginning of the twentieth century by a selection made by the geneticist Nazzareno Strampelli at the Research Center for Granicoltura in Foggia. Ugo De Cillis in his "I frumenti siciliani" says that Bidì and Margherito are selections that come from the Mahmoudi, Tunisian variety. From Strampelli we know that it is selected by the French genetic line Jenah Rhetifah. He was registered in 1915 and baptized with the name of the Marquis Raffaele Cappelli, then senator of the Kingdom of Italy who had actively participated in the agrarian reform of the early twentieth century. It was also cultivated in Sicily, where it arrives in relatively recent years and which De Cillis brings to the Bidì as the only population. As reported in the aforementioned book: «Bidì. Synonyms: Margherito, Senatore Cappelli. Mahmoudi. "
The flour of Senatore Cappelli has had a great success over the years for its excellent technological and taste qualities. Very similar to the Bidì and the Margarito with which it shares the perfume and the semolina of light color. The bread of Senatore Cappelli is excellent, as is the one of Altamura.
This flour is very appreciated for the preparation of pasta. Although it is not a Sicilian cultivar, it is cultivated for the quality of the semolina and its high yield in organic farming.