Farro is a member of the wheat family and is known as an "ancient grain" because it has been consumed for centuries. In fact, sometimes it is called the "mother of all grains" because it is considered the original ancestor of all other wheat species. This grain is still popular in Italian dishes and used throughout the Mediterranean area.
Uncooked farro looks similar to wheat berries, and a lot like barley when it is cooked. It has a slightly chewy texture with a nutty, warm flavor. It can be used similarly to wheatberries, barley, or bulgar.
There are actually 3 varieties of farro:
- Whole-grain farro, also known as Einkorn: This type contains the complete grain, so is technically the most nutritious. It also takes the longest to cook (about 40 minutes) and should be soaked before cooking.
- Semi-pearled farro, also known as Emmer: This type has had some of the wheat bran removed so its cook time is a little shorter (about 25 minutes). Presoaking is optional.
- Pearled Farro, also known as Spelt: This variety doesn't have any bran at all, but cooks up the quickest (about 15 minutes). You do not need to soak pearled farro before cooking it. Pre-soaking an ingredient is usually done to help speed up cooking time. This variety of farro already cooks up pretty fast.
Unfortunately, every time I have come across farro at the grocery store, both in the bulk section or as a bag on the shelf, the grain has simply been labeled "Farro," or "Italian Farro" with no indication as to which type it is.
If this happens to you as well, you can determine the variety by how long it takes to cook. Simply do a taste test after 15 minutes of cooking and see if it is done or not. Keep checking every 10 minutes until the grains are slightly chewy but mostly soft.
I will say that almost every time I have gotten farro here in the United States, it ends up being the pearled variety.
📖 Cooking Instructions
Farro is sold as hard, dry grains that must be cooked using heat and water. As stated above, whole-grain farro should be soaked before being cooked. Pre-soaking is not necessary for pearled or semi-pearled farro.
Farro can be cooked:
Farro is a very nutritious whole grain and is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. One serving of cooked pearled farro equals ⅔ cup. It provides 25% of the daily recommended fiber intake! It's also high in protein, containing 7 grams of protein. Farro is low in fat and has 200 calories in ⅔ of a cooked cup. Unpearled and semi pearled farro will have even more fiber.
I created this nutrition label using Very Well Fit's Recipe Analyzer.
Farro is a member of the wheat family, so it does contain gluten. Also, like all whole grains, Farro is high in carbohydrates. Therefore, those eating a low-carb diet, such as people with diabetes, should consume farro in small portions.
💰 Where to Buy
You should be able to find farro in the bulk bin section of your grocery store. Sometimes it is simply labeled "farro," but you might also see it called "Italian farro" or "pearled farro." This is the most cost-effective place to buy farro.
If your grocery store doesn't have a bulk section, you can usually find it bagged on one of the shelves. Each grocery store is different, but the grocery stores near me usually put the bagged farro in the same aisle as the flour and sugar. If it's not on the flour aisle, some grocery stores have a "healthy lifestyle/organic" aisle, and I would check there.
The most common brand for bagged farro that I've seen in the U.S. is Bob's Red Mill. They have a store locator on their website that will show you which stores near you sell their farro products. Check it out here if you are interested.
Finally, if you can't find it in a store near you, you can always order Farro off the internet. I have a link under "Equipment" if you need it.
Dry farro should be stored in a dark, cool, and airtight container. My favorite way is to store it in a large mason jar inside my cupboard. It will last longer than if simply stored in the bag it comes in. I recommend using your farro within 6 months of purchasing. It will last longer than 6 months, but the grains tend to get harder over time.
Cooked farro should be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Cooked farro can also be frozen for up to 6 months. This is great if you'd like to make a large batch and freeze it in smaller portions for quick use later on. Make sure your grains are cool before transferring them to a freezer-safe container. This will help prevent freezer burn.
To defrost, you can quickly thaw grains in the microwave or on the stove.
👪 Serving Size and Ratios
One cup of uncooked farro makes about 2.5 cups of cooked farro.
The recommended serving size, according to Bob's Red Mill, is ⅔ cup cooked.
Farro is a delicious whole grain that can be used in soups, salads, and risottos. My favorite way to eat this grain is for breakfast. Check out my Pinterest board below for lots of farro recipes.
I'd love to hear what your favorite farro recipes are in the comments. I'm always looking for another way to eat this healthy, whole grain.
Here are some things you might find handy when it comes to cooking with Farro. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying orders at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting The Incredible Bulks.
Thanks for reading this post all about Farro. Let me know if you have any more questions about this tasty grain! I hope you'll try it out!