An ancient Italian grain that is similar in taste to barley. In the United States, farro is known as a type of spelt or wheat. It is a hulled grain, meaning that the hull adheres to the grain when harvested, similar to barley and oats. The hull is then removed during processing. Most people consider farro to be a type of wheat and although they are related, farro is of a different species. Farro is processed in a whole or cracked form, either of which can be found in specialty food stores or mail order suppliers. The whole farro cooks slower than the cracked variety and the texture differs considerably when cooked. The cracked form has the appearance of bulgur. Farro grain that has not had the hull removed should be soaked before cooking. When cooked, the texture of farro is firm and chewy, while some American varieties (spelt) become softer. In European countries, farro is often used for polenta and bread recipes. Farro provides a nutty flavor to salads, soups, stews, side dishes, and meat stuffing.
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