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Burnt bread, ricotta and caramelized figs


When I was in Polesine Parmense, I had the opportunity to meet Claudio Grossi, custodian farmer of Parma, producer of combined wheat Also known as miracle grain, a variety of wheat that produces numerous ears per ridge and which was cultivated in Egypt from an unknown period. Widespread in Sicily and Molise in the mid-19th century, it was considered advantageous for its large ears and this is also why they called it wonder wheat.

Claudio explained to me that he roasts some of the beans and uses them in the creation of some baked products. That of using grains burned it is an ancient tradition, it dates back to when farmers were allowed to collect the grains left on the ground and which had become “burnt” after burning the stubble. Today the roasting takes place in a controlled manner and gives a very particular and intense flavor to the flours obtained: smoked and toasted hazelnut.

I was saying, Claudio had brought with him some loaves made from ancient soft wheat flour from the Miracle (type 1) and toasted miracle wheat: the burnt bread, that's what it's called. A fragrance and aroma beyond belief, an intense toasted and slightly bitter flavor in the mouth. There's no point resisting the call to take a loaf of bread home, I was also curious to experiment with pairing it with some foods. The first taste was with salted butter and smoked salmon, then I thought of something transversal like very fresh sheep's ricotta and caramelized figs which won me over. A proposal like this can become a rich breakfast, an appetizer, a dessert… in short, it is decidedly versatile and decidedly good!

It is useless to write you the recipe which is a simple combination of ingredients, I prefer to leave you the address of this producer, small and shy, but sure of what he produces and passionate in carrying out this custodial activity aimed at the cultivation of ancient wheats and barleys:

Agr. Az. Grossi Claudio
S. Maria del Piano Via Piantone, 6
Lesignano dè Bagni (Parma)
cell. 338 9224734

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