The Skinny on Spelt
Spelt Right bakery in Yarmouth uncovers the savory secrets of this ancient grain.
In the January 2009 issue of Down East, we profiled Beth George's Spelt Right bakery in Yarmouth. Here is more information on the benefits of spelt, courtesy of George. Visit her website at www.speltrightbaking.com
"Spelt (triticum spelta), one of the oldest cultivated grains, is an ancient cousin of common wheat (triticum aestivum) likely tracing its origins back 5000 years to Mesopotamia.
Popular in North America until the turn of the 20th century, spelt recently has been re-discovered by North American consumers as a wonderful alternative to common wheat. Many people enjoy spelt’s “nutty” taste and light texture.
Spelt’s genetic and nutritional profiles make it a unique and outstanding grain. The whole spelt grain is high in protein, complex B vitamins, fiber and complex carbohydrates.
Unlike many modern common wheat varieties which have been bred for industrial production, spelt has retained many of its ancient attributes, including a sturdy outer hull that helps retain nutrients, and repel pollutants and insects.
“The suggested attributes of spelt relative to [common] wheat are ease of digestion, taste, and that individuals with certain allergies to common bread wheats can consume spelt.” (Stallknecht, G.F., K.M. Gilbertson, and J.E. Ranney. 1996. Alternative wheat cereals as food grains: Einkorn, emmer, spelt, kamut, and triticale. p. 156-170. In: J. Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ newcrop/proceedings1996/V3-156.html
Although some people who experience sensitivities or allergies to common wheat may be able to enjoy spelt, they are cautioned to consult with their health care providers before consuming spelt. Because it contains gluten, it is not appropriate for individuals with a celiac condition.
As of November 1, 2006 the FDA required all spelt products be labeled as wheat. This has led to some confusion in the marketplace as there are many consumers who seek out spelt (triticum spelta) products as opposed to common wheat (triticum aestivum). The FDA classifies spelt as wheat because it interprets “wheat” to mean all species in the genus triticum, which include common wheat, durum wheat, spelt, emmer, einkorn, among others."
Places to buy Spelt Right Products:
Lois' Natural Marketplace - Scarborough
Hot Suppa - Portland
The Good Egg Cafe - Portland
North Star Cafe - Portland
Whole Foods - Portland
Royal River Natural Foods - Freeport
Haraseekett Inn - Freeport
Artemisia - Portland
Cafe Ohno - Portland
Hannaford - Nature's Place Frozen (Scarborough, Portland-Forest Ave, Yarmouth, Falmouth, and Millcreek South Portland)
New Morning Natural Foods - Biddeford and Kennebunk
Bates College - Lewiston
Maine College of Art - Portland
Mousse Cafe and Bakery - Portland
Royal Bean Coffee - Yarmouth
Fresh Off the Farm - Rockport
Rising Tide Co-op - Damariscotta
Belfast Co-op - Belfast
Native Maine Produce and Specialty Foods is now distributing us throughout Maine
Associated Buyers will be distributing us into New England beginning in February 2009.