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article imageOp-Ed: Ancient Grains get the spotlight at annual Winter Food Show Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Jan 25, 2017 in Food
San Francisco - This past weekend, Pereg Natural Foods featured among its culinary delights the ancient grains of Farro and Freekeh. These little-known grains in the West are joining the ranks of popular healthier grain-alternatives like quinoa.
Pereg was at the annual Winter Fancy Foods Show on January 22 to 24 at Moscone Center in San Francisco to feature its line of healthy gourmet foods.
Known for centuries in the Mediterranean and surrounding areas, Farro and Freekeh are high in fiber but low in calories. Pereg is offering new blends and flavor-infused varieties of Farro and Freekeh; as well as quinoa and teff, among the dozens of other all-natural products.
A leader in producing premium and unique all-natural foods, Pereg was established in 1906, in Clifton, NJ. Proud that Pereg was present at the major food event, Brett Fuss Marketing Director noted. "Primarily known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, Pereg has developed more than 60 products in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world."
For many households, Pereg is the one to turn to when making fresh soups and stews on these cold winter days. Like with its Autumn Blend, the mix of beans and lentils is just what most soup recipes call for and a hungry family craves in winter. And as The Los Angeles Times noted, ancient grains like Freekeh are part of "the grain parade that keeps on growing."
In her cook book 'Everyday Freekeh Meals,' Kitchn.com editor Kelli Dunn expresses her delight at discovering a little-known grain to western eaters. "Freekeh is wheat that’s harvested while young and green. It's sun-dried and roasted," she said, "during which time the straw and chaff are burned and rubbed off. It has a firm, chewy texture and a distinct flavor that's earthy, nutty and slightly smoky."
Like the LA Times food writer Russ Parsons, Dunn also praises Freekeh for its high protein, low calories benefit. And she adds, "like quinoa and brown rice. Freekeh also has a low glycemic index." This is very good news for healthy eaters, especially those on strict diets with regards to carbohydrates and sugar intake.
Freekeh is gaining in popularity among the alternative-gain foods. New to the West  it has been used...
Freekeh is gaining in popularity among the alternative-gain foods. New to the West, it has been used for centuries in Mediterranean cuisines.
Courtesy of Pereg Gourmet Foods
Farro, as food writer and historian Laura B. Weiss points out is also rich with Vitamin B-3 and zinc. In her article for NPR she mentions that Farro originated in the Fertile Crescent, where it has been found in the tombs of Egyptian kings and is said to have fed the Roman Legions. And, just as with Freekeh, there is more than one variety of Farro.
Ancient grains are more hearty and require some effort. According to Grainstrom, an online grain supplier and other historical sources, the reason why ancient grains did not become a staple was industrialization. As Europe and America grew during the 19th Century advances in milling and farming changed the diets. Cheaper, faster and of course shelf-life were part of the reasons why ancient grains like Freekeh, Farro and Millet were abandoned or forgotten in the Western world.
For those picky eaters and care-givers of the household that don't have a lot of time to shop and cook, Farro and Freekeh, like quinoa is offered and packaged in many ways. Pereg with its extensive line strives to bring healthy and unique foods to the table.
Farro is an ancient grain  much like quinoa. But it is little known to the West. This past January 2...
Farro is an ancient grain, much like quinoa. But it is little known to the West. This past January 22-24, Pereg Foods featured it at the annual Winter Fancy Foods Show at Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Courtesy of Pereg Gourmet Foods, NJ
"Pereg’s Freekeh is available in green roasted, ginger sesame and vegetable flavor blends, noted Fuss. Our Freekeh is young, green wheat that is roasted over an open flame to give this grain a delicious slightly smoky flavor and chewy texture similar to bulgur." And, just as Dunn had mentioned, "Freekeh is lower in fat than brown rice, higher in fiber than quinoa or brown rice, and is also a great source of calcium."
It can be used in soups, casseroles or enjoyed seasoned up as a side dish. Freekeh or Farro makes a great alternative to rice or couscous. Pereg's packages of these ancient grains sells at less than $5.00 retail and is economical to one's food budget as it is versatile to the palate.
For more than a century, Pereg has been providing an array of all-natural products that includes ancient grains such as Farro and Freekeh, along with a choice of other ancient grain blends. Pereg also makes gluten free pasta, couscous, rice, gluten-free cereal and much more. Pereg Natural Foods products are available at select retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For recipes and a list of all of Pereg's products, visit the Pereg All-Natural Foods web site.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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