Kamut Berries and Pasta, From Egypt to Montana
Khorasan is the common name of Kamut, which has been trademarked. The trademark, Kamut, guarantees that the grain is authentic and hasn’t been hybridized or modified. It is thought to have originated in the Fertile Crescent area. Genetically, it is thought to an ancient hybrid of Triticum Durum and Triticum polonicum.
Kamut has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Legend says that it was brought in the Ark by Noah and was therefore known as Prophet’s Wheat in some areas. It also has a very interesting history in this country. It was given to an airman stationed in Portugal in 1949 by another airman who had just returned from Egypt. He sent it to his father in Montana who began growing it. They named it “King Tut’s Wheat” claiming it had been found in the tombs and was sold at roadside markets. In 1964, a man named Clinton Stranahan, started growing the strain and showed it at the county fair. It didn’t gain in popularity until the late 70s when Bob Quinn, a student of agriculture science at the University of California, remembered seeing it at the fair. His Dad in Montana acquired a jar of it and they began growing it. In 1986 it was introduced into the health food market. In 1988 the KAMUT trademark is given and now it is sold all over the world.
The Kamut berry is the whole kernel (endosperm, germ, and bran). Kamut has a larger kernel, or berry than traditional wheat. It remains chewy after cooking and can be used in place of traditional wheat in recipes. It has been found to be tolerable for those with wheat sensitivity but not for those with celiac disease. It has a rich, buttery flavor and is great in salads, as a cereal, etc.
Kamut is slightly higher in protein than traditional wheat. It is a good source of selenium, is a great source of energy because of the high content of lipids. It also contains thiamin, niacin, potassium and zinc.
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