Timilia Ancient Grain

ancient grains benefits​

Timilia Ancient Grain, belongs to the species with the scientific name Triticum durum, is a wheat with dark caryopsis that resists well to drought.
Known in Sicily, and in the rest of Italy also with the dialectal names: tumminia, tummulia, trimminia.

The Story of Timilia Ancient Grain

Timilia cultivated already in the Greek period with the name of trimeniaios, is one of the oldest varieties of durum wheat short cycle, the sowing period is March in hilly areas (can be anticipated in January in maritime areas) for this reason it is also called marzuolo wheat, was cultivated in years with rainy autumns, which did not allow access to the fields for sowing. 

Timilia is a grain very resistant to drought, suitable for cultivation in hot and dry countries, for this reason it took root in the regions of southern Italy such as Sicily, but also in southern Europe (France, Spain and Portugal) and in the countries of North Africa overlooking the Mediterranean during the first fifty years of the last century.

It does not require great cultivation techniques and special care, so it is also suitable for organic farming. In the 30’s the Graniculture Station for Sicily has selected two varieties of Timilia called: Timilia a reste nere and Timilia a reste bianche. 

Thanks to the tenacity of local producers and growers, Timilia wheat in recent years has regained a prominent place in the production of wheat in Sicily, especially in the areas of Trapani and Palermo where crops extend for about 200 hectares and about 100 hectares for other ancient grains.

High in Protein and Fiber, Low in Gluten and Sugar

The flour of Timilia wheat is produced by means of ancient stone millstones in the area of Trapani, following the ancient traditions; it is a wholemeal flour little tumbled, it contains many trace elements of wheat germ and bran; it has a high protein value and a low gluten index. This flour is very suitable for bread making, in addition to other Sicilian semolina, it must be consumed in a relatively short time (about 4 months) in order not to lose its organoleptic qualities. 

Timilia flour, after milling, has a greyish color, different from the commercial flours to which we are usually accustomed; the food products that derive from the use of this flour are wholemeal breads or dark breads so called because of the characteristic dark color of the dough and the crumb. 

The typical bread produced with this particular flour is called “Pane nero di Castelvetrano” (black bread of Castelvetrano), originating from a small village of the same name in the province of Trapani. Timilia flour bread is very fragrant, with a good nutritional contribution and thanks to the use of sourdough (natural yeast) has a long shelf life, it keeps for a few days soft and fragrant. 

Pane Nero of Castelvetrano is protected as a Slow Food presidium. In the past, this unique and very special production was at risk of extinction, until local bakers formed a consortium and revitalised the production of flour from local mills that still use stone grinders.

Thanks to the food innovations introduced by the manufacturers, this flour is also used for the production of fresh and dry artisan pasta.

 A product with an intense and strong flavor that goes well with sauces rich in history and culture of Sicilian cuisine.

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