A LIKE AMARANTHUS CAUDATUS


Common name: Amaranth
Origin:Central America
Particular signs: Rich in proteins (approx. 15%), calcium, phosphate, magnesium and iron. It has a high concentration of fibers with positive effects on digestion. Ideal for newborns and the elderly.
Harvested:Summer/fall
Notes:For the Aztecs, it was the “grain of the Gods.” The Romans thought it would protect them from misfortunes.
Amaranth is naturally gluten free.

A LIKE Avena Sativa


Common name: Oat
Origin:Around 2,500 BC, in Europe and the Middle East
Particular signs: Rich in proteins, fats, fibers and carbohydrates. It contains a good amount of mineral salts: calcium, magnesium, potassium, silicon and iron. It is very nutritious and regulates cholesterol.
Harvested:It is sown in the spring. It is harvested in the summer/towards the end of summer.
Notes:Not to be confused with Avena fatua, or wild oat, a difficult weed to eliminate.
Oat is naturally gluten free.

B LIKE Vitamin B


Group of vitamins with essential functions for the body, especially for the nervous system, liver and muscle tone of the gastro-intestinal system.
The B vitamins are found in many foods, amongst which the wheat germs, whole rice, whole wheat and legumes.

C LIKE Cannabis Sativa


Common name: Hemp seeds
Origin:Hemp naturally grown in temperate areas.
Particular signs: The seeds have a high concentration of essential fatty acids, such as Omega 6 and Omega 3 (perfect ratio 3:1). They also contain Vitamin E, Vitamin B and all the 8 essential amino acids.
The seeds have a diameter of 2.5 – 4 mm, they are brown or black-gray, sometimes even green-gray.
Hemp is easy to grow and grows back quickly, it is very robust. In addition to the seeds, all the other parts of the plant may also be used: from the leaf petals and fibers to the seeds.
Harvested:It is sown from April to May. It is harvested from the end of July to September.
Notes: Hemp is naturally gluten free.

C LIKE Chenopodium pallidacaule


Common name: Canahua
Origin:South America, especially in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia.
Particular signs: Very rich in proteins, calcium, phosphorous and iron. It has a high nutritional value. It contains all the amino acids the body needs.
Harvested:The grains ripen at different times.
Notes:Similar to quinoa in appearance, it is considered a “close relative” for its nutritional qualities.
Canahua is naturally gluten free.

C LIKE Chenopodium Quinoa


Common name: Quinoa
Origin:South America. It is one of the staple foods of the Andean people. It was already being cultivated 5,000 years, in the highlands ranging between 3,800 and 4,200 meters above sea level. The Incas called it “chisiya mama”, “mother of all seeds”.
Particular signs: It is considered a cereal even if it doesn’t belong to the Gramineae family because its seeds produce a type of flour that mainly contains starch. Quinoa contains fibers and minerals, such as phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. It is rich in vegetable proteins and mainly contains unsaturated fats.
Harvested:It is sown in April. It is harvested from September to October.
Notes: Quinoa is naturally gluten free.

D LIKE Dehusking


It is the process used to eliminate the shell of various types of cereals, such as oat, barley, millet, etc. Depending on the rubbing intensity of the grinding wheels, more or less of the outer shell of the grains is removed.

E LIKE Eragrostis tef


Common name: Teff
Origin:Ethiopia and Eritrea, “Teff” means “lost,” since the tiny seed is likely to escape from one’s grip and, thus, to go to waste. This, however, facilitates the seeding process of this cereal and, in case of a semi-nomadic life, transport.
Particular signs: The plant has a height that varies between 30 cm to 1 m and its grains, less than 1mm in diameter, are amongst the smallest ones in the world. Teff is rich in fibers, calcium and iron. It also has a high concentration of proteins.
Harvested:Teff is an annual herb. It is sown in the rainy season and can be harvested 3 months later.
Notes: Teff is naturally gluten free.

F LIKE Fagopyrum esculentum


Common name: Buckwheat
Origin:It was first cultivated in the Eastern Himalayas. Buckwheat was introduced in Europe in the late Middle Ages, through the Black Sea: first in Germany and Switzerland and later in Italy, around 1620.
Particular signs: It isn’t real cereal (it doesn’t belong to the Gramineae family), but it is considered so for commercial reasons and for its nutritional qualities. It is actually a flower plant. Buckwheat is rich in mineral salts: especially in iron, zinc and selenium.
Harvested:It is sown towards the end of spring (mid-May/beginning of June). It is harvested in August/September.
Notes:The German name Heidenkorn meant “pagans’ grain”.
Buckwheat is naturally gluten free.

G LIKE Glycine Max


Common name: Soy
Origin:China. It was first cultivated in the eleventh century BC. It then expanded through much of Asia, but only arrived in Europe in the nineteenth century. Today, it is mainly produced in the US, Argentina and Brazil.
Particular signs: It is rich in proteins and isoflavones, phytoestrogens that have positive effects on the body.
Harvested:It is sown in April. It is harvested from mid-September to October.
Notes:The existence of tofu and soy milk has been documented since the third century AD, always in China.
Soy is naturally gluten free.

H LIKE Hordeum vulgare


Common name: Barley
Origin:Asia Minor. The first traces of cultivation date back to the Neolithic Age (approx.. 10,000 BC). It was amongst the most widely used cereals in bread making at least until the fifteenth century.
Particular signs: Easy to digest and highly nutritious, barley is rich in phosphorus, but also in magnesium, potassium, calcium iron and vitamin E. It remineralizes bones and has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
Harvested:It is sown in the fall or spring and harvested in the summer.
Notes:In 3,000 BC, it was certainly cultivated in Egypt, where beer was already being produced.

K LIKE Kamut®


Common name: Kamut® Khorasan wheat is a registered brand. The term comes from a hieroglyph that meant “wheat.”
Origin:The generic Khorasan name comes from an Iranian region where this grain was described for the first time in 1921.
Particular signs: It has greater properties than common wheat: a high protein concentration and great versatility of use in the kitchen. It is indicated for the preparation of pilaf, but also to accompany salads and soups.
Harvested:It is sown in the spring and harvested at the end of the summer/fall.
Notes:The Kamut® wheat brand is organically cultivated in the plains of Montana (where the headquarters of the company bearing the same name are located) and in Canada (Alberta and Saskatchewan).

O LIKE Oryza Sativa


Common name: Rice
Origin:Asia and more specifically China around 5,000 BC, even if the oldest varieties date back to 15,000 years on the hills of the Himalayas. Today, rice is a “food” for half of the world’s population.
Particular signs: Amongst all cereals, it is the most complete food: 100 g equal to about 330 kilocalories. Gluten free, it is rich in vitamins, fibers and mineral salts. Rice is also highly digestible.
Harvested:Depending on the variety, rice needs to grow between three to eight months before being harvested. Under ideal weather conditions, such as in warm and humid tropical climates, it can be harvested up to 3 times a year.
Notes:In Europe, Italy is the main rice producer.
Rice is naturally gluten free.

P LIKE Panicum Miliaceum/L


Common name: Yellow millet
Origin:Its origin is unknown even though we know millet has been cultivated since prehistoric times (some seeds were found in Neolithic tombs). It was widely used during the Middle Ages and was gradually replaced by more productive cereals. Today, it is mainly cultivated in Africa and Asia.
Particular signs: It is highly nutritious thanks to the presence of a lot of proteins (approx. 11%), mineral salts and crude fibers. It is also rich in vitamins A and B.
Harvested:It is sown in May. It is harvested in September.
Notes: Millet is naturally gluten free.

P LIKE Panicum Miliaceum/L


Common name: Brown millet
Origin:Its origin is unknown even though we know millet has been cultivated since prehistoric times (some seeds were found in Neolithic tombs). It was widely used during the Middle Ages and was gradually replaced by more productive cereals. Today, it is mainly cultivated in Africa and Asia.
Particular signs: It is highly nutritious thanks to the presence of a lot of proteins (approx. 11%), mineral salts and crude fibers. It is also rich in vitamins A and B.
Harvested: It is sown in May. It is harvested in September.
Notes: Millet is naturally gluten free.

P LIKE Pearling


It is a process, consisting of a series of steps, used to remove the most outer part of grain. This allows the most different cereals (wheat, barley, millet, etc.) to absorb water more easily in order to be able to make soups more quickly.

S LIKE Salvia hispanica


Common name: Chia
Origin:Guatemala, Southern and Central Mexico
Particular signs: Very rich in Omega 3, the fatty acids that reduce cholesterol. From a nutritional point of view, its seeds are similar to linseeds and sesame seeds. Its name comes from “chian,” meaning “oily” in nahuatl. Its grains contain a notable amount of fibers; reason why athletes and vegans know it well.
Harvested:Chia plants can reach up to 2 m in height and flower in September. These plants are harvested in November.
Notes:The Aztecs believed chia seeds were a source of strength, especially in case of a battle.
Chia is naturally gluten free.

S LIKE Secala Cereale


Common name: Rye
Origin:Middle East, about 2-3,000 years ago. It grows in cornfields like “weed” before being isolated. Today, rye is cultivated in Central and Eastern Europe, mainly in Germany, and Scandinavia.
Particular signs: Especially rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, rye – thanks to its high concentration of amino acids, such as lysine – is an important food for a balanced diet.
Harvested:Winter rye practically the main variety cultivated in Central Europe. It is sown in the fall and harvested in the summer.
Notes:There is also a wheat-rye hybrid variety called triticale and which possesses the qualities of both species.

S LIKE Sorghum Gentile


Common name: Sorghum
Origin:The name could derive from an Indian word that indicates the plant’s “Syriac” origin. Its diffusion through the Middle East, North Africa and Europe is due to the Arab culture.
Particular signs: Sorghum can be eaten whole or dehusked for soups and it can also be ground. Sorghum flour can be used to make focaccia breads, buns, polenta, etc.
Harvested:It is sown in May. It is harvested from September to October.
Notes: Sorghum is naturally gluten free.

T LIKE Triticum aestivum


Common name: Wheat
Origin: Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Wheat was one of the first plants cultivated by sedentary people.
Particular signs: It is milled to achieve the flour types soft (the whitest) and plain till to the whole-grain, in addition to some interesting sub-products such as bran, fine bran or wheat middlings. Wheat is rich in carbohydrates (approx.. 72%) and proteins (approx.. 12%). The mineral salts and vitamins are contained within the outer part of the grain and are thus only found in whole products.
Harvested:It is sown in the fall or spring and harvested in the summer.
Notes:Wheat germ oil is obtained from the germ when separated from the grain and used to make soaps.

T LIKE Triticum aestivum


Common name: Red wheat (Rotkorn)
Origin:Eastern Africa. It was discovered in 1872 on the coast of the Red Sea. This soft wheat tis particularly widespread in Southern Italy.
Particular signs: It has a characteristic yellow-red spike. It reaches a remarkable height of approx.. 160 cm. It adapts and resists to diseases, especially to rust. Notable content of anthocyanin (10 to 15 times more than soft wheat). It can be used for many different applications (bread, pastries, pasta, cookies, flakes, granola. Also suitable to make beer).
Harvested:It is sown in the fall or spring and harvested in the summer.
Notes: The red-purple color of the grain is due to the anthocyanins contained in the outer part of the grain.

T LIKE Triticum Dicoccum


Common name: Spelt dicoccum or medium spelt
Origin:It was born after small spelt in an unspecified area between the Mediterranean and Caucasus.
Particular signs: This is the richest spelt, it has two grains instead of one. Usually, all types of spelt are rich in vitamin B, proteins and methionine, an essential amino acid for the body. Spelt has less calories and glutens than other cereals.
Harvested:It is sown in the fall or spring, at high altitudes. It is harvested in the summer/late summer.
Notes: This spelt is still cultivated in Italy today, especially in Garfagnana (Toscana Settentrionale).

T LIKE Triticum durum


Common name: Durum wheat
Origin:Durum wheat emerged in the Mediterranean and Middle East around the fourth century BC.
Particular signs: Durum wheat is preferably grown in a dry climate and in clay soils. Idea for the production of food dough, once ground, it generates semolina and not flour. It is rich in carbohydrates and has a protein content of about 13%. It also has a high concentration of fibers. It contains vitamin E, vitamin B, iron, magnesium, calcium, iodine and selenium.
Harvested:It is sown in the fall or spring and harvested in the summer.
Notes:Italy is a worldwide leader in the production of durum wheat.

T LIKE Triticum Monococcum


Common name: Einkorn spelt or small spelt
Origin:The first type of wheat cultivated by man (VIII/VII millennium BC) probably originated from modern Turkey.
Particular signs: It is the poorest spelt because it only produces one grain. Usually, all types of spelt are rich in vitamin B, proteins and methionine, an essential amino acid for the body. Spelt has less calories and contains less gluten than other cereals.
Harvested:It is sown in the fall or spring, at high altitudes. It is harvested in the summer/late summer.
Notes:Spelt is was the staple food of the Roman legions. “Flour” comes from “spelt.” Over the centuries, it was replaced with soft and durum wheat, which had greater cultivation yields.

T LIKE Triticum Spelta


Common name: Spelt
Origin:It was born after the two other spelt varieties, in an area near the Caspian Sea, and is a blend of Triticum Dicoccum and wild graminacea. It is suitable for the Italian climate. Therefore, spelt still comes from Italy, France and Central and Eastern Europe.
Particular signs: It consists of two grains and rarely of three. Generally, all types of spelt are rich in Vitamin B, proteins and methionine, an essential amino acid for the body. Spelt has fewer calories and contains less gluten than other cereals.
Harvest:It is sown in the fall or spring, at higher altitudes. It is harvested in the summer/late summer.
Notes:The three species of spelt are also defined as “clothed grains” since they maintain their outer layer after the threshing and should thus be peeled.

Z LIKE ZEA MAYS


Common name: Corn
Origin:Mexico, the Tehuacán Valley. It seems to have migrated to South America, where significant variants of this cereal were found. It was already widespread in Europe in the middle of the Sixteenth century, including in Italy, where it replaces the millet plantations and where it has become the main crop of the farmers of the Padana region.
Particular signs: Although it has modest nutritional properties, corn is very “popular” for its high production levels, ease of cultivation and resistance against harsh weather conditions.
Harvest:Corn is a summer cereal. It is sown in April and May. It is harvested from September to November.
Notes:Corn flour is “ground” thicker for tasty polenta, thinner for softer and more delicate polenta and extra thin for baked sweets and cookies.
Corn is naturally gluten free.